Qantas Airways’ leisure subsidiary Australian
Airlines has unveiled an expansion of its services in Australia and Asia now
that it has secured leases on another two Boeing 767-300s.
On 25 July it will begin flights
from Australia to Denpasar (Bali) in Indonesia and then in October it wants to
start flying to Shanghai in China and the East Malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu.
In addition, Australian Airlines
will start flying Cairns-Sydney return so its international passengers have a
connecting service to the Australian business capital.
With the push into Bali, the Cairns-based
carrier will have three flights a week from Sydney and Denpasar and one flight
a week from Melbourne and Denpasar.
A Qantas spokesman says some of the
flights will continue on to Singapore and some will also return to Sydney and
Melbourne via Denpasar but not all. The details on how many
flights will continue to Singapore and how many will return via Denpasar have
yet to be finalised.
The spokesman also says Qantas will
stop flying on the Sydney-Denpasar route when Australian Airlines starts. Qantas
stopped flying on the Melbourne-Denpasar route soon after the 12 October nightclub
bombings in Bali last year.
With the Cairns-Sydney route,
Australian Airlines plans to have six return flights a week.
“These flights will enable us to
offer seamless transits at Cairns International Airport for our inbound
passengers travelling from Asia and Japan,” Australian Airlines CEO Denis Adams
says in a statement.
“These services will be
international flights, arriving and departing from international terminals at
Sydney and Cairns airports.”
He also points out that Australian
Airlines has had preliminary discussions with Sabah state authorities in
Malaysia about launching a Cairns-Kota Kinabalu-Singapore route and that
Australian Airlines’ push into Shanghai comes about two years after Qantas
stopped flying to mainland China.
Australian Airlines, which only
flies 767-300s in all-economy class configurations, will take delivery of the additional
aircraft in late July. The Qantas spokesman is not able to say from where the
aircraft are being leased.
The carrier launched services in
October with four 767s and has said the fleet will increase to 12 aircraft
within two years. It now flies between Cairns and the Japanese cities of Fukuoka,
Nagoya and Osaka, as well as Taipei in Taiwan, plus Hong Kong and Singapore. It
also operates connecting flights between Cairns and the Gold Coast.