Singapore travellers slugged by Qantas cutbacks

By David Flynn, February 27 2014
Singapore travellers slugged by Qantas cutbacks

Travellers to Singapore will be hardest hit by cuts to the Qantas network announced today.

The QF5/6 and QF51/52 flights from Sydney and Brisbane to the Asian hub will be downgraded from Boeing 747 jumbo jets to Airbus A330 aircraft by September this year, while Perth will lose its daily Singapore flight as of May 12.

Ageing and fuel-guzzling they may be, but these jumbos were recently refitted with the same premium economy seats, lie-flat beds in business class and widescreen inflight video displays as Qantas’ flagship Airbus A380.

In their place will be smaller Airbus A330s, which are ironically newer than the wrinkled jumbos yet offer a lower grade of service.

There’s no premium economy seating, robbing travellers of a budget-friendly option for extra legroom and comfort on the eight-hour trip.

Things don’t get better at the pointy end of the plane, where business travellers will find older seats which recline to an 'angled lie-flat' position rather than stretch out to a fully flat bed.

Qantas has pledged to replace the A330’s ‘sloping sleepers’ with its impressive new lie-flat Business Suite.

But with the first of these not due until the end of this year, and the fleet-wide upgrade not complete until mid-2016, Singapore-bound travellers will face a seat lottery through 2015 and beyond rather than being assured of a good night’s sleep.

Qantas will also shutter its final international route from Perth in May, axing the daily service between Perth and Singapore and directing its would-be passengers to partner Emirates or its low-cost offshoots Jetstar and Jetstar Asia.

Additional reporting by Chris Chamberlin

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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 platnium

30 Nov 2013

Total posts 43

More and more cuts

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

14 Feb 2014

Total posts 33

Ha Ha... why bother.

28 Nov 2012

Total posts 93

Where will they deploy the reconfigured 747's that ran these routes


Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Feb 2012

Total posts 17

Singapore just doesn't makes sense any more for Qantas, so I understand why it is canning Perth-Singapore, and reducing capacity on Brisbane and Sydney Singapore flights.  In future Perth KL (linking to One World Malaysian) or Sydney/Brisbane to Hong Kong (linking to Cathay) would seem to make sense.  Dramatic change but still understandable, I think

25 Jul 2011

Total posts 12

For years we only ever had a QF A330 from Bris to Singapore. Same with SQ. The QF 747 service has been a relatively recent change (a few years anyway). It always seems pretty full and the PE cabin was a great alternative.

I like the A330. QF51 outbound is a day flight so you don't need to lie flat. QF52 inbound is an overnighter and I'll miss a good nap. I guess the EK 777 service back to Bris will become a whole lot more popular in the expensive end.

Virgin Australia - Platinum

21 Dec 2012

Total posts 86

Except the Emirates 777 doesnt have lie flat in business, its still angled.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2013

Total posts 33

Over it. SG is a 6-8 times a year trip from Sydney. before the EK hook up it was a nice run on the A380 albeit the flight arrival times were diaboloical. Now down to the A330 which is a fine aircraft but not in the QF hands as they are in need of a refurb. 

As a loyal QF FF it becomes harder and harder to maintain any degree of commitment to QF. 6-8 times to SG, 2 to HK and 2 times to LHR. Frankly I'm off to SQ and CX. New craft and Changi and HKIA are easy places to transit. Sorry Qantas it was wonderful with you but ......

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Aug 2013

Total posts 5

Here's a start ,stop wasting money on American actors and  over paid models,and  hosting lavish parties to people who wouldn't even pay for a ticket in the first place,stop up grading people too business or premium who just have a good sob story,if you're going to do it ,award Qantas members.its a slap in the face to someone who's paid top dollar for their seat.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Oct 2013

Total posts 33

We don't need to wait till September, I am booked on QF5/6 to SIN in late May and I was advised about 4-5 weeks ago that the flight changed from a 747 to A330.. :-(

28 Nov 2012

Total posts 93

Flew QF Y class for a cheeky long weekend in Singapore in August last year on A330-300, the aircraft was tired, IFE ok but really tiny BUT as always the staff were the best, food and beverage exceptional for Y. QF is quality all the way just needs quality hardware. 747 W class to Hong Kong the year before (another cheeky long weekend) was awesome.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Feb 2011

Total posts 52

Hello Alan we have already switched to Singapore airlines!

better seats

better service

better prices

better business class

07 Feb 2014

Total posts 2

Are we sure there are no plans to introduce a few premium economy seats on the upgraded A330s?  It would seem in these tight times, many businesses (including my own) have only allowed for P.E. travel to Asia.  Qantas will lose customers to Hong Kong at least, and could differentiate themselves from SQ, if they offerred a different option.

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