Qantas boosts international network, adds frequencies

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Qantas Airways will launch a seasonal Perth-Auckland service, upgauge capacity on its Sydney-Hong Kong route, and increase the Brisbane-Los Angeles frequency.

The twice-weekly Perth-Auckland service will start on 6 December and run until the end of January 2014, using Airbus A330 aircraft, says the Oneworld alliance carrier.

From 4 November, it will also raise the number of Airbus A380 services on the Sydney-Hong Kong route from four to five times weekly. The remaining two weekly frequencies on the route will continue to be operated by Boeing 747-400s.

"The Qantas Group is serious about Asia and we've already increased capacity to Hong Kong by 10 per cent this year," says chief executive Alan Joyce. "As well as adding almost five per cent more seats per week on this route, the aircraft swap will increase the amount of flying done by our flagship A380 fleet into Asia."

Qantas will increase its Brisbane-Los Angeles frequency from six to seven times weekly on 2 December. The airline will use a 747-400 on the additional weekly service.

The airline will also retime one of its Sydney-Christchurch services to an evening Sydney departure to allow for improved onward connections, on 27 October. This complements the existing service operated by Emirates by providing a double daily frequency.

Qantas and Emirates commenced their partnership on the trans-Tasman route on 14 August, with both carriers aligning their fares and codesharing on flights between Australia and New Zealand.

Joyce adds that the new services are part of Qantas's turnaround plans for its loss-making international operations.

"These network changes are brought about through smarter use of our assets and our partners to deliver a truly premium experience service for our customers," he says.