From March 2018, Qantas will no longer fly the kangaroo route between Sydney and London through Dubai, opting instead to travel via Asian hub Singapore.
The rerouting is the most significant change among a number of revisions Qantas has flagged as part of a proposed five-year extension to its partnership with Emirates.
It also represents a greater overall shift to Singapore and Asia as demand for travel to the region from Australia surges.
“Our partnership has evolved to a point where Qantas no longer needs to fly its own aircraft through Dubai, and that means we can redirect some of our A380 flying into Singapore and meet the strong demand we’re seeing in Asia,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said at the announcement of the new proposal with Emirates.
Despite Qantas’s intentions of eventually operating “a handful of direct routes between Australia and Europe”, the Qantas boss said the sheer size of Emirates’ network would see Dubai remain “an important hub” for its customers.
“Emirates has given Qantas customers an unbeatable network into Europe that is still growing,” Mr Joyce said.
“We want to keep leveraging this strength and offer additional travel options on Qantas, particularly through Asia.”
In a blog, the Qantas boss said that flights to Asia by Qantas and subsidiary Jetstar had grown from 30 % of the airlines’ total capacity to more than 50% in the last ten years.
Among the other changes announced, Qantas will also upgrade its existing daily Melbourne-Singapore flight (QF35/36) from an A330 to an A380, while the second three times weekly service will increase to a daily A330 service (QF37/38).
Customers affected by the changes will be re-accommodated onto the new services or given the option to change their flights.
Tickets for Qantas’ new services are available now.