Qantas will restart most of its international network from second half of 2021, bookings open now
Qantas has now reopened bookings across its entire overseas network 1 July 2021, reflecting a note of optimism for the new year.
Services to most of its destinations are now available for booking, including flights to Singapore, London, USA from Australia.
Executive Traveller previously reported a planned resumption of services to select destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan from 29 Mar 2021, but this has been pushed back to 1 Jul along with more destinations.
Flights between Australia and Singapore
Qantas previously operated up to 49 services a week from Singapore to London and four cities in Australia: Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
All five destinations are expected to be served from 1 Jul, including the flagship Sydney-Singapore-London QF1/2 service, although each destination will only be served once a day.
No first class for now, premium economy available on Boeing 787-9s
The QF1/2 service between Sydney and London via Singapore was previously operated by an A380 and will be replaced by a Boeing 787-9 when service resumes from 1 Jul as all Qantas A380s are currently in long-term storage until at least 2023.
This also means that there will be no first class service across Qantas network, as the cabin is only found exclusively on the A380s.
Based on currently published schedules, the Qantas Dreamliner Boeing 787-9s will be available on services to and from Sydney (QF2/1), Melbourne (QF36/35) and London (QF1/2).
According to Qantas’ website, the following services will be available from 1 Jul:
|Route||Flight No.||Days of op||Dep||Arr||Flight Time||Aircraft|
|Singapore – Sydney||QF2||Daily||1930||0510(+1)||7h 40m||B787-9|
|Sydney – Singapore||QF1||Daily||1555||2215||8h 20m||B787-9|
|Singapore – Melbourne||QF36||Daily||2015||0535||7h 20m||B787-9|
|Melbourne – Singapore||QF35||Daily||1215||1815||8h||B787-9|
|Singapore – Brisbane||QF52||Daily||2030||0600||7h 30m||A330-200|
|Brisbane – Singapore||QF51||Daily||1150||1800||8h 10m||A330-200|
|Singapore – Perth||QF72||Daily||1840||2350||5h 10m||A330-200|
|Perth – Singapore||QF71||Daily||1150||1720||5h 30m||A330-200|
|Singapore – London||QF1||Daily||2345||0635||13h 50m||B787-9|
|London- Singapore||QF2||Daily||2105||1725(+1)||13h 20m||B787-9|
What does this mean for Qantas Singapore lounge operations?
With a reduced number of flights and with less travellers expected to travel in the initial months, coupled with the fact that there will be no first class service operating in or out of Singapore for the next few years, it is likely that Qantas may reduce its lounge operations in Singapore. This means that it may only operate one of the two lounges at Changi Airport in the initial phase of resuming flights.
We also understand that the current lounge team, managed by Accor, have been furloughed or released late last year. As such, it is highly unlikely that the Qantas Singapore First Class lounge will be reopened even when flights resume later this year, leaving only the business class lounge to serve premium passengers and Oneworld emerald and sapphire members.
It’s rather exciting news that Qantas has reopened international travel bookings, despite the fact that it’s for six months down the road.
Having said that, the airline has come under fire by the Australian government for pre-emptively deciding when borders will reopen, although Qantas has responded saying that it was their own take on how likely it will be.
This renewed optimism for the resumption of international travel is definitely much needed, although whether it happens or otherwise depends on how well the pandemic comes under control this year as vaccines are rolled out.