Qantas to cut Singapore capacity, retime London flight

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Qantas will cut capacity to Singapore and retime its Melbourne-Dubai-London flights as part of its A$2 billion ($1.8 billion) cost cutting initiatives.

The Oneworld carrier will cut its daily Perth-Singapore service during the first quarter of the 2015 financial year. At the same time, it will reduce capacity between Singapore and Brisbane and Sydney by substituting Boeing 747-400s with Airbus A330-300s.

Qantas has announced that it will accelerate the retirement of its six oldest 747s to early 2016, but will retain nine others, including its six 747-400ERs.

The airline will also retime its Melbourne-London flights to minimise ground time at London Heathrow airport, which will free up an A380 for additional flying. It has not yet announced where that capacity will be deployed.

Qantas adds that it has no plans to cut capacity to London, quashing rumours that it would cede its London services to alliance partner Emirates Airline.

Last year Qantas cut its Singapore-Frankfurt services as part of the alliance, and instead codeshares on most Emirates services to European destinations from Dubai.

Qantas’s international business recorded an earnings before interest and tax loss of A$262 milion ($234 million) for the six months to 31 December 2013, with the airline blaming major increases in capacity by competitors from Asia and the Middle East into Australia.