Qantas has pared back its flights between Australia and Hong Kong as part of a ‘realignment’ of its Asian timetable following the launch of the Qantas-Emirates alliance. Here’s how the new schedule sits.
Sydney-Hong Kong flights have been downgraded to a single daily service following the cancellation of the four times per week QF87/88 flight.
QF127/128 is now the sole Sydney-Hong Kong flight and has been retimed to leave Sydney slightly earlier, at 9.55am instead of 10.40am.
(As before, from Monday to Wednesday this flight uses a Boeing 747, while Thursday through to Sunday sees an Airbus A380.)
There’s a more substantial timeshift for the Melbourne-Hong Kong QF29 flight, which now leaves Melbourne at 9.35am – four hours earlier than under the previous timetable – to reach Hong Kong at 5.10pm.
Brisbane is in for a boost, with the Brisbane-Hong Kong service (QF97/98) going up from four flights per week to five beginning May 6, and then daily from June 24. The new schedule now sees QF97 leaving Brisbane at 10.20am for wheels-down into Hong Kong at 5.25pm.
WA comes out worst off, with Qantas axing the Perth-Hong Kong (QF67/68) service.
Your Hong Kong alternatives to Qantas
If the revamped Qantas schedule doesn’t appeal, your options are pretty cut-and-dried.
Virgin Atlantic runs a daily service departing Sydney at 2.25pm, which arrives into Hong Kong at 9.55pm.
This operates as a codeshare with Virgin Australia so you can rack up some Velocity frequent flyer points and status credits and also enjoy access to the Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse lounge in Hong Kong if you hold Velocity platinum status.
But for most travellers the better bet would have to be Cathay Pacific – especially as a Qantas alternative, because your Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold or Platinum card will provide entry into Cathay’s excellent business and first class lounges at Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific offers plenty of flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to Hong Kong, and they all sport the airline’s highly-regarded business class seats, along with new premium economy and revamped economy seats.
(Just be aware that, as noted in the comments field below, Cathay's daily BNE-HKG flight goes via Cairns three days each week. This adds several hours to the trip – if your schedule is sufficiently flexible, choose to fly on the days which offer a direct flight without the Cairns stopover.)
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Business traveller's guide to Hong Kong International Airport: What you need to know, how to get there, where the lounges are and what to do on a layover
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