Qantas suspends Shanghai flights due to low demand

Qantas has announced several network adjustments for its Asia flights. In particular, the Australian airline will suspend its services from Sydney to Shanghai due to lower than expected demand.

After service resumed post-pandemic late last year, demand has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Sydney-Shanghai suspension

The global travel landscape has undergone significant change since the peak of the pandemic.

Although Qantas successfully resumed its Sydney-Shanghai service in October 2023, passenger demand has not reached pre-pandemic levels.

To optimize resources and ensure efficient network operations, Qantas will temporarily suspend flights between Sydney and Shanghai from July 28, 2024.

This decision reflects a data-driven approach. “Since COVID, demand for travel between Australia and China has not recovered as much as expected,” explained Cam Wallace, CEO of Qantas International.

“In some months our flights to and from Shanghai were about half full.”

Qantas Airbus A330.
Robert Frola (GFDL or GFDL ), via Wikimedia Commons

Nevertheless, Qantas emphasizes its continued commitment to the Chinese market. The airline says it will closely monitor its development and maintain a presence in China.

This will be achieved through partnerships and existing flights to Hong Kong. Passengers booked on affected flights from Sydney to Shanghai will receive a full refund or flexible rebooking options.

In addition, services to Shanghai remain available through partner airlines operating from Hong Kong, allowing Qantas frequent flyers to continue earning and redeeming points.

Restored from Brisbane to Manila

For those looking for new Asian experiences, Qantas has some positive news! A brand new route between Brisbane and Manila will launch on October 28, 2024.

Qantas will operate four times a week using Airbus A330 aircraft, returning to the Manila route after a 10-year hiatus.

The new service complements the existing daily flights from Sydney and will result in a significant increase in capacity.

Passengers can expect over 100,000 new seats per year between Australia and the Philippines to meet growing demand for travel and business opportunities in this vibrant Southeast Asian country.

Increased frequencies to Singapore and Bengaluru

Qantas continues to expand its presence in popular Asian destinations. Frequency between Sydney and Singapore will increase by 10%, representing over 2,500 additional weekly seats.

This includes an adjustment from 14 to 17 return flights per week from December 11, 2024. Passengers flying from Brisbane to Singapore will also benefit from an increase in frequency. This will change the route from 7 to 9 weekly return flights from October 27, 2024.

These strategic adjustments are intended to improve connectivity with Qantas’ daily Singapore-London service.

Travelers flying from Brisbane to London could potentially save four hours of travel time to Heathrow Airport by using this optimized connection.

To meet increasing demand during the peak holiday season, Qantas will expand its Sydney-Bengaluru service to daily operations from mid-December 2024 to the end of March 2025.

This strategic move will add over 12,000 seats on the route during this four-month period, ensuring a seamless journey for those wishing to visit friends and family or immerse themselves in the culture of India.


“We always strive to ensure we have the right aircraft on the right routes and at the right time of year to best meet our customers’ needs,” emphasizes Wallace.

“This strategic network adjustment allows us to improve services to popular destinations while introducing a new route to Manila.”

“These changes provide our business and leisure customers with greater choice and easier access to key Asian destinations.”

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