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Qantas scraps major China route

Written by on May 14, 2024

Qantas has been forced to can its Sydney to Shanghai route because of low demand.

In place of the airline’s scuppered only direct route into China, the airline will fly Brisbane to Manila for the first time in 10 years, and fire up more flights to Singapore and India.

Qantas International chief executive Cam Wallace said planes to and from China had been half full.

“Since covid, the demand for travel between Australia and China has not recovered as strongly as expected,” he said.

“In some months, our flights to and from Shanghai have been operating around half full.”

Sydney to Shanghai will be suspended from July 28.

Qantas will still fly to Hong Kong and look to fly Sydney to Shanghai again in the future.

In its place Qantas’ Brisbane to Singapore route will increase from seven to nine return flights each week from October. The airline says timings will be aligned to cut four hours from its daily Singapore to London flight.

Sydney to Singapore will increase from 14 to 17 return flights a week and Sydney to Bengaluru increases from five a week to seven; both subject to government and regulator approval.

The Indian route will run from mid-December to March, offering more than 12,000 seats.

Customers with booking to Shanghai after July 27 will contacted and offered a full refund, Qantas says.

Federal Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell met Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao by video conference just last month, pertaining to trade between the countries.

China imposed sweeping tariffs on Australian goods in 2020 after the Australian government called for an inquiry into the origins of Covid-19.

Australian coal, cotton, copper ores and concentrates, timber logs, oaten hay, barley and wine suddenly no longer had buyers in China. Those products are being shipped to China again now, except lobster and red meat are still sanctioned by Beijing.

After the April meeting, Minister Farrell said student and tourist numbers and official and business delegations between the nationals were increasing.

Read related topics:ChinaQantasSydney