Qantas denies plans to cut London flights

By David Flynn, February 21 2014
Qantas denies plans to cut London flights

Qantas has denied suggestions that it will reduce flights between Australia and London in an effort to claw back the airline's dramatic losses, which are expected to be as high as $300 million over the July-December 2013 period.

A persistent rumour has Qantas axing the Dubai-London leg of its daily Melbourne-London Airbus A380 service, with passengers from that flight feeding into the London-bound leg of the flagship QF1 service from Sydney or connecting onto Emirates flights to other destinations in the UK or Europe.

However, a statement issued by Qantas this afternoon says that "On the specific rumour that Qantas is looking to reduce its services to London, this is inaccurate."

"There are a series of unsubstantiated and unsourced rumours swirling around ahead of our half year results, ranging from estimates on job losses to route changes" the airline says.

However, it warns of "the need to make tough decisions as part of strengthening our business, which we will outline next Thursday."

That Thursday, February 27, is when Qantas will reports its financial results for the July-December 2013 period and set out some of the measures in its aggressive cost-cutting campaign to recoup $2 billion over three years.

The airline has already flagged job cuts of at least 1,000 across 2014 but it's widely expected the number of positions to be axed will exceed this.

Nothing ruled out?

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce previously declared "all options are on the table" and the airline is expected to announce a sale of up to 49% of its frequent flyer scheme, which could yield between $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion.

Read: Could Qantas sell off its frequent flyer program?

Selling the long-term lease on the dedicated Qantas terminals at Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth airports back to the airport could raise another $800 million-$1 billion, suggest analysts.

Other possibilities include closing less-profitable routes, especially those operated by the fuel-thirsty Boeing 747s such as Sydney-Johannesburg.

Earlier today Qantas announced it would abandon its alliance with South African Airways under which the airlines share flights between Australia and Johannesburg. 

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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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 May 2012

Total posts 371

David, in an article today, you state that QF will keep its SYD JNB route and in this article you are questioning that.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2554

driley: the two are not mutually exclusive.

As of today Qantas said "Qantas will continue to fly to Johannesburg from Sydney, with no change to the daily service we operate with our B747s."

That statement is accurate as of now, but it doesn't spec out a timeframe into the future and it doesn't mean the airline cannot on Feb28 announce that it will close that route sometime this year.

(Also and FWIW, I only cited the Jo'burg flight as an example of a 'possibility'.).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2209

David cannot categorically state that there is no plan to cancel SYD-JNB, just in case there is.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 May 2012

Total posts 371

From the article on the removal of the arrangement on QF/SAA JNB route "Qantas says it will retain its Sydney-Johannesburg route but will no longer offer bookings on South African Airways' flight from Perth to Johannesburg".

driley28, do you understand the term "retain" to mean "retain to perpetuity"?

Would this be an accurate interpretation of Qantas' statement?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 May 2012

Total posts 371

@babushka.  Suprising to you, I do understand the meaning of retain and retain to perpetuity.  My comment was in the context of the upcoming announcement and not what might do in the medium to long term.

So if "retain" does not equate to "retain to perpetuity", why would it be contradictory to say on Friday 21 Feb that SYD/JHB will be retained and then say on Thursday 27 Feb that SYD/JHB will not be retained? Technically the promise to retain has a validity of 6 days. The choice of words would not be technically inaccurate although the spirit of the statement is questionable. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1248

Sure, deny now, do an about-face later.

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 70

The question is 'When are they going to pull out?" This year is a given!

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 70

Rumours equal Fruition!

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 70

Is that the right word to use?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 341

Only when fruit bats are involved ;-p

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Sep 2011

Total posts 181

I suspect Qantas are going I axe  one of the London flights, Alan Joyce has been determined to close Qantas, especially the international part and pursue the Ryanair model.  

Two things should be pointed out here.

How can Qantas international make money if it doesn't fly anywhere?

Joyce pursuing his Ryanair agenda I suspect may yield short term profits but Jetstar will never match full service airlines and why did many other airlines dispose of their low cost carriers? (BA selling Go for example)

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