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Qantas Drops Shanghai, Adds Brisbane-Manila Route

DALLAS — Qantas (QF) is shaking up its Asian network with a strategic shift in destinations served. While the airline will suspend its Sydney (SYD) to Shanghai (PVG) route due to lower-than-anticipated demand, it will be launching a new route and increasing frequencies on flights to popular destinations in Southeast Asia and India.

Effective July 28, 2024, QF will suspend its flights between SYD and PVG due to low passenger numbers. The airline resumed this route in October 2023 after a COVID hiatus, but demand hasn't rebounded as expected.

Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways

New Route from Brisbane to Manila

Qantas assures customers they can still connect to Shanghai and other parts of China via their existing Hong Kong (HKG) flights and partner airlines.

However, the news isn't all about route suspensions. QF is launching a new route from Brisbane (BNE) to Manila (MNL) starting October 28, 2024. This marks the airline's return to the BNE-MNL service after a decade-long absence.

The four-weekly service will be operated by Airbus A330 aircraft and will add over 100,000 seats annually between Australia and the Philippines, complementing the existing daily SYD-MNL route.

“Since COVID, the demand for travel between Australia and China has not recovered as strongly as expected. In some months, our flights to and from Shanghai have been operating around half full. That’s why we’ve decided to suspend this route and boost flying to other popular destinations with a new route from Brisbane to Manila and additional flights to Singapore and Bengaluru,” said Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace.
Qantas Airbus A380-800. Photo: Christian Winter/Airways

Increased Frequencies

Furthermore, QF is increasing frequencies on flights to Singapore (SIN) and Bengaluru (BLR). From December 11, 2024, SYD-SIN flights will jump from 14 to 17 return flights per week, offering over 2,500 additional seats. BNE-SIN flights will also see an increase from seven to nine return flights per week starting October 27, 2024.

These adjusted flight times will improve connections with QF's daily SIN-London (LHR) service, reducing overall travel time to Heathrow by approximately four hours.

To cater to peak season demand, SYD-BLR flights will be bumped up from five per week to daily service between mid-December 2024 and late March 2025. This adds over 12,000 seats on the route during the four months.

“We’re always looking to ensure that we have the right aircraft, on the right routes and at the right time of year to best meet the needs of our customers," said Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace.