Qantas bids farewell to Frankfurt

By David Flynn, April 17 2013
Qantas bids farewell to Frankfurt

Qantas axed its last remaining service to continental Europe this week with the closure of its daily QF5/QF6 flight to Frankfurt via Singapore.

London is now the only European city served by Qantas’ own planes, these being the Red Roo's daily A380 flights from Sydney and Melbourne via Dubai.

But according to Simon Hickey, CEO of Qantas International, travellers to Germany will find themselves much better off under the Qantas-Emirates alliance.

“I think Emirates actually provides a better proposition to Germany”, Hickey told Australian Business Traveller, citing the airline’s reach into four German cities – Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich – with several daily direct flights from Dubai.

(However, the best connections and shortest waiting time for those flights will be to travel from Australia to Dubai on an Emirates aircraft – so be sure to book this as a Qantas codeshare to maximise your frequent flyer points and also earn status credits.)

Qantas had planned to run the Frankfurt service until October this year, but claims it was simply losing too much money.

“One of the issues we had with the Frankfurt service beyond Singapore was the age of the aircraft’ Hickey explains. “They’re getting towards the end of their life, and Frankfurt’s been a struggling route for some time."

“It was a difficult decision, but it was also very difficult for me to go to the board and say ‘I’d like to get some brand new aircraft to fly a route that we’re losing a lot of money on.’”

But the Boeing 747 still flies to Singapore

QF5/QF6 remains on the Qantas schedule but now runs only between Sydney and Singapore, with a tweak to the timetable which sees it departing Sydney at 1pm and arriving into Singapore at 7.20pm – a better arrangement for Singapore-bound travellers than the previous 10pm wheels-down at the Lion City before continuing to Frankfurt.

These flights will use both Boeing 747s and Airbus A330, Hickey says.

“We’ll still fly a bit of a mixed schedule with the 747 and A330. We’ll keep flying the 747 to Singapore because that leg is efficient flying for us.”

Hickey discounted any notion of flying Airbus A380s to Singapore, even when Qantas begins to receive its second batch of superjumbos from 2016.

“I think the A380 is probably a better aircraft for longer sectors like Dubai and London”, meaning that new A380 routes would be “really about what opportunities present themselves for an aircraft like that.”

Hickey’s strategy for Singapore “is to get frequency with an efficient aircraft like an A330 or Boeing 787, as opposed to putting an A380 on.’

Hong Kong is a different story, Hickey says, and the A380 will continue to serve Sydney-Hong Kong flights several days per week.

“It’s still a very good proposition for Hong Kong, and it’s very popular because we have the only first class to Hong Kong.”

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 784

Hmm... 10-across in Y DXB-FRA on the EK 777. No thanks. The trickle down effect from the EK halo will only last for one flight for most people. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 211

have to agree about the Emirates 777 Y class tronixstuff...there is not much in the arrangement if you are subjected to the cramped back of the bus Emirates 777's. That's especially so on the legs between Aus and Dubai which are all long sectors. I can handle it on short sectors but the long haul sectors are just a pain in the proverbial.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Dec 2011

Total posts 11

It seems like QF's own reach is getting shorter and shorter with LHR, LAX, SFO and DFW the only destinations outside the Asia Pacific region . Maybe it is time to rebrand their company as an regional airline?

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1251

SFO was ditched for DFW a couple of years back. You've missed DXB, SCL, JNB & JFK

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Aug 2012

Total posts 130

Hopefully, QF flys to BER in the near future to make up for the loss of the FRA route.

20 Jul 2011

Total posts 72

“I think Emirates actually provides a better proposition to Germany”


Certainly not for those wanting to travel to Frankfurt and the Rhein/Main area - the main finance and commercial centre of Germany.  Instead of a 6am arrival, they won't get in until well after 8 which leaves less time to get into town/connect to a DB train and get a full day's work done.

Everyone is talking about how Emirates' 777 10 abreast seating in economy is cramped - but to be honest it is really quite comfortable - the 777 is quite a wide aircraft. I have always found the seats to be very confortable, the legroom fantastic (even though I am well over 6 foot) and the servicr to be of an outstanding standard. I would choose the Emirates 777 any time over Qantas' old 747 product, that they used to operate the SYD-SIN-FRA flights. The 10 abreast seating may sound like alot, but once you get on their and try it out the seat is only a couple of centimetres less wider than on the A380. I fly frequently and have been on nearly all the major carriers and would prefer the Emirates 777 Economy service over any of the other major competitors to Europe! 


23 Apr 2013

Total posts 2

Do you work for Emirates Brad ?. I am 5'10 and my knees touched the seat in front on EK's 777 and the couple of centimetres in width and leg room between the A380 and the 777 makes all the difference. The 777 is cramped and un-comfortable, especially if the person sitting next to you is not slim. Apart from AF, I prefer any other major Airline to Europe rather than get on a EK777 anywhere.

As a fact, I do not work for Emirates, I am just a frequent flyer with Emirates. Of course I agree that the Emirates A380  Economy product is far more superior than the 777 product, but the fact is that the Emirates 777 product is not as bad as everyone emphasises it to be. 

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 110

sad really after all these thing and i did read about this when most private schools did cultural exchange trips to germany was how the now axed qf5/qf6 fed really well into services connecting from places from melbourne,adelaide,perth and brisbane.we have to now do the unthinkable and fly an asian carrier which is no bad thing as I have done the singapore airlines trip to the uk and loved it quite a long time ago and this year has me on qatar.if schedules were no issue i would also give mas or cathay pacific a go.

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