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Qantas to lift Asian business with new lounge at Changi, revised flight timings

Published on Feb 4, 2013 9:42 AM
This file photo taken on Sept 6, 2012 shows Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce (right) and Emirates president Tim Clark (left) posing in front of aircraft at Sydney Airport. The Australian flag-carrier Qantas announced on Feb 4, 2013, plans to broaden its reach in Asia as part of a strategy to turnaround its struggling international arm, with several new destinations being considered. The move is a consequence of its global alliance with Dubai-based Emirates, which means its services to Asia will no longer be tied to onward links to Europe. -- PHOTO: AFP

Qantas will open its new passenger lounge at Changi Airport on March 31, as it moves to boost its Asian presence. A similar facility will be available to customers at Hong Kong International Airport in September, the airline said on Monday.

Outlining its strategy to strengthen its international operations, the Australian flag carrier said that Singapore and Hong Kong will be its two key hubs in the region. Capacity to both destinations will be expanded and flight timings will also be adjusted to make it more convenient for customers.

For example, flights to Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok will arrive up to three hours earlier than they do now to make it more convenient for those with onward connections to the rest of the region.

As part of the changes, Qantas will reduce frequency from Perth to Singapore but boost the number of services from Sydney. The airline will also stop flying to Europe via Singapore from the end of March and will stop instead in Dubai as part of a tie-up with Emirates.