Qantas spreads its wings to Vancouver, Tokyo

By David Flynn, January 5 2015
Qantas spreads its wings to Vancouver, Tokyo

The Flying Kangaroo has bounced into the new year with a series of new routes and new flights, plus the promise of more to come.

The first of six seasonal Qantas flights between Sydney and Vancouver touched down this weekend in the Canadian city, the Boeing 747 bringing with it Aussie tourists keen to sample the northern winter ski season.

Passengers can continue to destinations such as Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg via Qantas' partnership with Canadian airline WestJet.

The Vancouver service is part of a shift in Qantas’ approach to schedules which places greater emphasis on bringing on flights during high seasons, when demand is greatest and fares can be priced accordingly.

Sydney-Vancouver to continue through 2015?

The direct twice-weekly flights, departing Sydney on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Vancouver on Sundays and Thursdays, will run until January 22, although Qantas will consider extending the schedule on an ongoing basis.

Star Alliance member Air Canada is the only other airline with direct services between Sydney and Vancouver.

As previously reported by Australian Business TravellerQantas has applied to the International Air Services Commission "to operate seasonal services between Australia and Canada during periods of peak demand throughout the year.”

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller at the time that that if granted, the IASC submission would “permit Qantas to operate up to 3 return services per week between Australia and Canada” year-round.

Read more: Qantas leaves door open for more Vancouver flights

More Tokyo flights, too

Qantas is expected to soon reveal which Australian city will get thrice-weekly flights to Tokyo's Narita Airport on the back of the new four times a week service between Brisbane and Narita.

The Brisbane-Tokyo flights will begin on August 1 on an Airbus A330, with the route eventually seeing the airline's new Business Suite business class (below) and upgraded economy seats.

AusBT review: Qantas A330 Business Suite business class

Qantas' current daily Sydney-Narita flights will shift to Haneda, Tokyo's second international airport which is preferred by many business travellers as it's located much closer to the city itself.

While Narita is Tokyo's largest and busiest international airport it's also a long way from the city, taking almost an hour on airport express train services to the city centre compared to less than half an hour from Haneda on the Tokyo Monorail.

Business class and top-tier frequent flyers will have access to Haneda's recently-revamped Japan Airlines business lounge and first class lounge (above), as well as Cathay Pacific's newly-opened lounge (below).

AusBT review: Cathay Pacific Haneda Airport lounge

“We expect the Sydney to Haneda services to be particularly popular with business travellers" predicts Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, "and this traffic is likely to keep growing off the back of the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Japan."

“This is great news for customers travelling from Australia to Tokyo and popular destinations across Japan" enthused Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

“Haneda is located close to downtown Tokyo and provides a great option for customers wanting to get to the city quickly or those wanting to connect seamlessly with services from our partner, JAL.”

It's predicted that the number of Australians travelling to Japan is expected to grow by 13% in the next two years, along with a boost to business travel between the two countries due to the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Japan.

Qantas' Oneworld partner Japan Airlines runs Boeing 777 flights from Sydney into Narita, although JAL's competitor and Star Alliance member ANA is tipped to launch a Sydney-Tokyo service in late 2015.

AusBT review: Japan Airlines Boeing 777 Sky Suite business class, Sydney-Tokyo

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


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

05 Dec 2012

Total posts 22

But still no international flights from Perth. Hardly a national airline. The traction that SQ and Middle Eastern airlines are getting in Perth is unbelievable.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 445

Just wait and see what city they plan on utilising on the other 3 days - unlikely, but don't yet jump to possibly old conclusions.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1250

If being the 'national' airline is dependent on flying from every port overseas, most airlines (apart from City/States) would fail this requirement.

20 Apr 2014

Total posts 93

Rubbish - Perth is a major capital city, your argument is irrelevant

Tall about defending the indefensible, it's like airlines putting out press releases lauding "more routes, more flights" after slashing services to main capital cities and gifting them to competitors.

Kind of like Cadbury shrinking it's chocolates then lauding "10% more joy" after relenting a little and giving back a small amount.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1250

Take a chill pill @Yohy. You can think my point is rubbish and irrelevant. You are entitled to your opinion. 

But I am quite comfortable with my point of view. The term 'national carrier' has nothing to do with flying internationally from every major city in its home country. Many so called 'national carriers' do not. The MAJORITY of international carriers hub their flights through one or two major hubs. In Australia we are massiviely disadvantaged by a relevatively small population and a large country.

The 'how can they call themselves the national carrier when they don't serve Perth?' argument is the irrelevant thing in my opinion.

Qantas should not serve Perth internationally because its the 'national carrier', it should serve Perth as they should be able to make some money out of it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2207

I agree with hutch. Qantas is a commercial airline. They are not obliged to fly everywhere from Perth, no matter how a nationalistic and jingoistic a fervour everyone whips themselves up into. They are a commercial airline, not some sort of transit authority with a responsibility to connect people from their McMansions to their office towers.

I disagreed with their decision to withdraw from the PER-SIN and PER-HKG routes, but this was on commercial grounds, i.e. I believe they can make money ex-PER if they play their cards right (and by extension that they were not playing those cards right at the time), but I do not for a moment subscribe to the idea that Qantas is obliged to fly ex-PER simply because it is the 'national carrier'; it is obliged to fly routes that it can make money on.

For more 'national carrier' examples, look at Malaysia Airlines. I used to live in Penang, but even though they are the 'national carrier', they don't fly to anywhere but KUL ex-PEN. They don't fly routes ex-PEN that are seemingly obvious candidates for profitable operation (in the same vein as PER-SIN) like PEN-SIN, PEN-HKG, PEN-BKK, PEN-BKI, PEN-KCH, PEN-JHB, PEN-MAA, PEN-BOM, PEN-DEL, PEN-TPE, PEN-PVG, etc. etc.

So if there is an argument that is irrelevant, I put it to you that it is the one based on the idea that Qantas must fly ex-PER irrespective of commercial considerations simply because it is the 'national carrier'.

16 May 2014

Total posts 99

I think everyones getting caught up on the definition of a national carrier. 

Fine Qantas is a national carrier and yes it doesnt fly internationally out of Perth. Its kinda their loss.. would love to know the actual figures of the profit v loss of those routes they cut tho(Per-Sin/Per-Hkg). Anytime I flew them it was hard to get a seat most times.

I think if Qantas as the national carrier doesn't want to fly internationally to airport in Australia then that airport should be completely deregulated so that any airline can fly any destination they wish to give those airports some options. Just a thought bubble dont hit me over the head with it.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1250

I'm not against the opening up of skies to airports that Australian airlines (note this includes VA) don't want to fly from (or do many flights from) if done carefully. 

Once you give it away,  it could become difficult for Aus carriers to return in the future. The aviation industry is forever changing and you don't know what lies ahead. 

I concur that QF should fly from Per to a number of destinations.  But they should do that for money making reasons, not due to some 'national carrier' pull.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1250

It I'd also worth pointing out that the OP stated that SQ and middle eastern airlines are getting so much traction in Perth. The key common factor is that they all fly to their respective hubs (SIN,  DXB,  DOH or AUH) and then can take you anywhere. Qantas (or virgin) can't really offer that on their own metal. It's not impossible for the roo to fly internationally from PER, but they do have some disadvantages.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Mar 2014

Total posts 19

Qantas is running direct flights from Perth to Istanbul in April, on two days.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1250

I only know of one day and it is to serve 100 year ANZAC day commemoration:

Qantas today announced it will offer a special return flight to Istanbul’s Sabiha Göeçken international airport to cater for Australians wanting to attend Centenary of ANZAC commemoration services or visit the region in April next year.*

Qantas flight QF100 will fly from Sydney to Sabiha Göeçken via Perth on 21 April 2015, and will return on 28 April 2015. The same ‘100’ flight number will be used on the return sector.

Passengers can join the flight from either Sydney or Perth. The service will be operated by a reconfigured Boeing 747 aircraft which seats 364 passengers across

16 May 2014

Total posts 99

Well when is that other city on 3 days being announced. Knowing Perths luck it will be Cairns or Hobart :P

Lost cause about the Qantas out of Perth debate. Bit mad tho when Perth is predicted to be the third largest city in the country.

I think Virgin will get most of the market with their link ups, be interesting once the new terminal is completed if they add any international flights. 

Just sucks if you want to use frequent flyers internationally tho. :/

20 Jun 2014

Total posts 3

Those predictions were ages ago. Perth is slowing. Even if it did, Brisbane/SEQ would still be a much larger region.

16 May 2014

Total posts 99

Brisbane and Gold Coast both have airports

Perth only has the one.

Figures where from April last year

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Nov 2011

Total posts 122

VA has no more pull over Perth than Qantas, if anything, actualy less. Its not like VA run any international flights from Perth either (besides DPS).

Qantas - Jetstar, Qatar, Emirates, Malaysia and Cathay

Virgin - Etihad, Air NZ, South African, Tiger and Singapore.

16 May 2014

Total posts 99

Actual virgin also fly direct to phuket

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1250

Speaking of Qantas in Vancouver...came across the following in an article from 2005. Noting the QF EGM, you cant help but think about the changes that have occurred in Australian aviation in the last 10 years.

Qantas will begin operating seasonal services between Australia and Vancouver from June 14 to August 13, 2006. Executive General Manager of Qantas, Mr John Borghetti, said the new service would boost tourism in both Canada and Australia. Qantas will offer three services per-week between Sydney and Vancouver via San Francisco, operating three-class Boeing 747-400 aircraft fitted with Qantas’ Skybed in Business Class.


Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Feb 2012

Total posts 17

the problem for Qantas is Air Canada.  offering an inferior product in the main cabin and a barely comprarable one in business,  and no real service to speak of, the only thing AC can do is reduce the price until it gets uneconomic.  They have done it before and will do it again. It is an unscrupulous airline that runs crying to Government whenever it feels threatened. 

Lufthansa - Miles & More

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 182

Im soon to relocate to canada so this could be useful with upto 12 trips a year to australia but the anz j is alot better on the route with the connection if it strats all year it could be used frequantly Im just not convinced by the j configurations 

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1250

Yeah, well I don't see QF doing any reconfigurations with their 747's as they only did it a few years ago and probably don't have more than 5-8 or maybe 10 years left before retirement. 

Looks like you'll be frequenting AKL.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1024

"While Narita is Tokyo's largest and busiest international airport it's also a long way from the city, taking almost an hour on airport express train services to the city centre compared to less than half an hour from Haneda on the Tokyo Monorail."

As was pointed out in the other article, you are making misleading statements about the ground transport options between Tokyo and the airports.

The Keisei Skyliner express train takes 36 minutes for Central Tokyo to Narita Airport. The JR Narita Express takes 53 minutes to Tokyo Station and upto another 30 minutes for Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa.

The Keiky? line train takes 15-20 minutes (depending on time of day) for Haneda to Shinagawa. The Tokyo Monorail takes 13 minutes to Hamamatsuch?. (I would rate Shinagawa as a much better area for business, or even just transfers, then Hamamatsuch?).

Your articles seem to suggest that the Narita Express and Tokyo Monorail are the only options from NRT and HND, when there are faster and 'better' options from both.

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