Qantas to Suspend Shanghai Flights Amid Low Demand

A Qantas A330 on the taxiway.
Photo Credit: Qantas

Qantas has announced several network adjustments to its Asian flight services. Notably, the Australian flag carrier will suspend its Sydney to Shanghai services amid less than anticipated demand.

Having resumed the service late last year after the pandemic period, demand levels are yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Sydney-Shanghai Suspension

The global travel landscape has undergone a significant transformation since the pandemic’s peak.

While Qantas successfully resumed its Sydney-Shanghai service in October 2023, passenger demand hasn’t reached pre-pandemic levels.

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

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

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

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

Despite this, Qantas emphasizes its continued dedication 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 Sydney-Shanghai flights will receive a full refund or flexible rebooking options.

Additionally, connections to Shanghai remain available through partner airlines operating from Hong Kong, allowing Qantas Frequent Flyers to continue earning and redeeming points.

Brisbane to Manila Restored

For those seeking new Asian experiences, Qantas does have some positive news! A brand new route connecting Brisbane and Manila will take off on October 28th, 2024.

Operating four times a week with Airbus A330 aircraft, this marks Qantas’ return to the Manila route after a ten-year hiatus.

The new service complements the existing daily flights from Sydney, creating a significant capacity increase.

Passengers can anticipate over 100,000 new seats annually between Australia and the Philippines, catering to the growing demand for travel and business opportunities in this vibrant Southeast Asian nation.

Increased Frequencies to Singapore and Bengaluru

Qantas is further bolstering its presence in popular Asian destinations. The frequency between Sydney and Singapore will increase by 10%, translating to over 2,500 additional weekly seats.

This includes an adjustment from 14 to 17 return flights per week starting December 11th, 2024. Passengers flying from Brisbane to Singapore will also benefit from a frequency boost. This will see the route transitioning from 7 to 9 return flights weekly from October 27th, 2024.

These strategic adjustments are designed to enhance connectivity with Qantas’ daily Singapore-London service.

Travelers flying from Brisbane to London can potentially shave off four hours of travel time to Heathrow Airport by taking advantage of this optimized connection.

To cater to the surge in demand during peak holiday seasons, Qantas will be upgrading its Sydney-Bengaluru service to daily operations from mid-December 2024 to late March 2025.

This strategic move adds over 12,000 seats on the route during this four-month period, ensuring seamless travel for those visiting friends and family or seeking cultural immersion in India.


“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,” emphasizes Wallace.

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

“These changes provide greater choice for our corporate and leisure customers, making it easier to access key Asian destinations.”

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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