Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has confirmed his commitment to the Asia region, in the wake of the decision to re-route Kangaroo Route services through Dubai.
In an address to Australia’s National Press Club this week, Joyce identified Asia as one of its three key international priorities, along with expanding its partnerships and enhancing its passenger experience. Following Qantas’ tie-up with Emirates the airline’s European flights will move away from Singapore and Hong Kong, but Joyce confirmed its commitment to the East Asian region, saying it offered “some of the world’s most exciting travel and cultural opportunities”.
“Since August last year the Qantas Group has taken steps to establish two Asia-based airlines: Jetstar Japan and Jetstar Hong Kong. We are working with Asian partners and building our knowledge of Asian cultures. We are proud of what we have done so far, but there is so much more we can do. We know that it is important to have the right network and the right offering for Qantas passengers in Asia. It is something we need to fix in order to turn Qantas International around,” said Joyce.
Commenting on the move to switch its Kangaroo Route services to Dubai, Joyce said the move would actually strengthen its presence in East Asia.
“The prevailing view has always been that our hub for both European and Asian flying needed to be the same place, and we have explored that option at length. But the Emirates partnership means we can separate those two hubs, putting Dubai at the heart of the Kangaroo Route while enabling us to strengthen our position in Asia through Singapore and Hong Kong.
“With European flights now operating via Dubai, we will re‐time flights to Singapore and Hong Kong to focus on travel to, within and from Asia. We will offer 40% more dedicated capacity to Singapore, our primary Asian hub, and 25% more ‘same day’ connections onward across the region through partners such as China Eastern and Jet – plus, of course, Jetstar Asia,” he said.
Joyce also said that its tie-up with Emirates would offer extra opportunities for Southeast Asia.
“We will… be working with Emirates on their services between Australia and Asia. This means that we will be able to offer a second daily Melbourne‐Singapore service, a second daily Brisbane‐Singapore service, and direct services between Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur,” he revealed.
In a plea to Qantas’ stakeholders and the Australian public, Joyce also spoke of the need for unity, following a difficult 18 months that has seen the airline crippled by union strikes.
“We will always take our decisions in the context of the broader community and Australia’s national interests. That is in no way separate from, or in addition to, our shareholder responsibilities. They are interlinked. Our shareholders know that the strength of our brand relies upon being there for Australia and representing the best of Australia in the world.
“That will never change, but almost everything else will,” he added.