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Qantas to drop Melbourne-Dubai-London flights

Move part of strategy to boost service on London route, switch capacity to Asian markets

Image Credit: Reuters
Qantas Airways hopes to cut travel time between Australia and London by more than an hour by dropping the connection in Dubai.

Dubai: Australian carrier Qantas Airways has plans to drop the Melbourne-Dubai-London flights it is currently operating with Emirates in order to boost its services on the UK route and meet high demand from the Asian market.

The move also comes in the wake of heightened security measures that affect flyers from Dubai and other parts of the Middle East.

The Aussie carrier revealed the plans on Thursday when it announced the sale of tickets for its upcoming non-stop flights between Perth and London, which will begin on March 24, 2018.

The new Perth-London service will fly passengers from Melbourne to the UK and back without passing through Dubai, eventually reducing the travel time by more than one hour.

“The new QF9/10 will replace Qantas’ existing Melbourne-Dubai-London services,” Qantas said in a statement released on Thursday.

“With a faster flying time and quicker connections in Perth, customers travelling to London from Melbourne will reduce their total travel time by more than an hour compared with existing Qantas A380 services.”

The airline’s A380 that currently serves the Melbourne-London route will be redeployed to meet periods of high demand from Melbourne and Sydney to destinations in Asia, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, Qantas added.

The airline, however, assured that its partnership with Emirates will continue to deliver services for the European market.

“Qantas customers in Melbourne will have the option to fly with partner Emirates on Qantas code to Dubai and then direct nearly 40 destinations in Europe."

Emirates confirmed on Thursday that it will be upgrading its service between Dubai and Melbourne by deploying an A380 to serve passengers travelling between the two destinations or wish to have onward connections to the UK and Europe.

“Emirates will provide an all-A380 service from Melbourne when it upgrades its third daily flight from the Australian city, EK408 and EK409, from a Boeing 777-300ER to an A380 operation,” the airline said.

The move will see an additional 945 seats per week to the Australian city from March 25, 2018, representing a 10 per cent increase in capacity.

“This means Emirates customers can enjoy even more seamless A380 to A380 connections via its hub in Dubai to 18 points in the UK and Europe.”

“The additional weekly seats on the route will support more business and leisure travel between Dubai and Melbourne and together with Qantas’ new Melbourne, via Perth, London B789 Dreamliner service beginning on the 24th March 2018, offers customers more options to London and Europe under the joint partnership.”

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said their new service to Perth will boost tourism in Australia and meet the growing demand from travellers. He noted that since its announcement in December 2016, the Perth-London service had attracted a lot of interest.

“This route makes Western Australia a new tourism gateway for Australia. We know from our research that there’s a lot of appetite to explore the West, not just from British and European visitors but also from Aussies on their way to London. A lot of business travellers, particularly in the resources sector, will stop off in Perth on their way to the UK.”

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