Regional connections a core part of Qantas's Asia network: Hickey

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Qantas Airways says its retimed services to Asia has helped provide better connections for travellers who are doing businesses across the region, particularly from Australia.

The Oneworld carrier adjusted its Singapore and Hong Kong schedules on 31 March after it moved its hub for European services to Dubai. This now leads to flights from Australia arriving in those destinations during the day, and Qantas International chief executive Simon Hickey says this has been warmly welcomed by its corporate clients.

"We're enabling business people to do their business as they do it, in other words connecting people across Asia using our partners," he says.

Hickey adds that an increasing number of passengers are also flying to Singapore and then using Jetstar Asia services to connect to other destinations in Southeast Asia, such as Jakarta.

Qantas was recently given clearance from the Australian competition authorities to coordinate intra-Asia services with Jetstar Asia and its other joint ventures in Japan, Vietnam and its upcoming Hong Kong operation, which will further help to grow its network in the region.

He says, however, that Jetstar is not the only option for passengers heading through Asia.

"Jetstar is one part of what we should be doing in Asia in terms of having an end-to-end product between Qantas and Jetstar, but it doesn't detract from the fact that we have a broad array of partners who are included in that as well," he says.

Qantas also has codeshares with India's Jet Airways, Emirates and China Eastern Airlines from Singapore. It is also able to connect passengers on services operated by Oneworld partners Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines.