Qantas re-introduces Singapore on ’Roo Route in 2018, leaving Dubai

Through 2012, Qantas used to route their flights from Melbourne & Sydney to London (the Kangaroo Route), through Singapore. In 2012, they announced a new Joint Venture with Emirates, where, apart from switching up their hub from Singapore to Dubai, customers could book up on any flight of Emirates to bring them directly to their destination. This meant not having to pass through LHR, but rather directly going to Frankfurt, or Brussels or wherever they needed to.

Qantas is launching new non-stop flights between Australia and London

a plane flying in the sky

Qantas will start to receive their Boeing 787-9 planes sometime shortly. This entirely makes it possible for them to operate a non-stop flight between Perth and London, something they are actually launching in March of 2018, as of March 24, 2018. The QF9/10 flights will be some of the longest ones in the world, at roughly about 17 hours block time each, and will fly 9135 miles approximately in one direction.

Qantas is cutting Dubai out of their Network, but renewing their JV with Emirates

While Qantas had already announced the withdrawal of their Melbourne-Dubai-London service with effect from March 2018, they have also announced the withdrawal from the Sydney-Dubai-London flights as of March 2018 as well.

airplanes on a runway

The Joint Venture with Emirates however continues and has been renewed for another 5 years. Which Means, Emirates will continue to operate flights on these routes, and Qantas will continue to sell them (however on Emirates metal). Evidently, Qantas does not want to lose the capability to offer direct connections into Europe anytime soon. From their press release,

“Improvements in aircraft technology mean the Qantas network will eventually feature a handful of direct routes between Australia and Europe, but this will never overtake the sheer number of destinations served by Emirates and that’s why Dubai will remain an important hub for our customers.”

Qantas going back to Singapore hub

Qantas will reintroduce flights from Sydney to London via Singapore as of March 2018, and upgrade the equipment on the current flight from an A330 to an A380. From 25 March 2018, QF 1/2 A380 service will operate Sydney – London via Singapore, replacing one of the existing Sydney – Singapore A330 services. The second Sydney – Singapore daily service will continue to be operated by an A330 aircraft.

a large airplane flying in the sky

From 25 March 2018, one daily Qantas Melbourne – Singapore service will be upgraded from an A330 to an A380 (QF35/36), with the second three per week service increased to a daily A330 service (QF37/38).

Why fix something not broken?

I’ve been trying to think about since ever since I woke up this morning. And there are a few clues here. First, this leaves Emirates a significant amount of leeway to offer flights on the Kangaroo route via Dubai still. With Qantas as a JV partner, the ability to sell there hasn’t gone away as well. However, Qantas could do with added focus on a rejuvenated Asian Market, and that is what it is exactly doing by adding flights from Singapore again.


This is a great move, leaving Emirates to do their own thing on the Middle-East routings, while allowing Qantas to grow on another favorite route of theirs. Qantas on the other hand can now offer three access points to UK, via Perth, Singapore as well as Dubai to their customers.

What do you think about the new maneuver by Qantas? Would you have wanted to go via Dubai, Perth or Singapore?

All images courtesy the Internet

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

More articles by Ajay »


  1. I can see the logic behind it. Firstly, Singapore has way more point to point traffic then Dubai from Australia allowing them to get better yields and also potentially feed some other partners like Jetstar Asia and our very own Jet Airways. Quite a number of Aussies disliked flying from Dubai and frankly Changi offers better transit facilities. The question remains however that Evan Qantas realistically fill an A380 profitably all the way to London Without transit feed? They tried before and they couldn’t and I just don’t see what’s different this time. To singapore I see no problems at all but flying a Singapore London flight half empty is far more onerous financially then Dubai London. More so they compete with SQ or BA on the Singapore London route with more frequencies and a stronger product (I do like Qantas a lot but SQ does steal a march over them). Not to mention that Low costs like Norwegian and Air Asia are vying for that market as well. I could still see the route working better with an efficient 77w or 777-x but it remains questionable at best with the whale jet.

    Same goes for their Perth London nonstop. There simply isn’t enough premium point to point traffic between the two cities to command a premium that would make a ULH route like this work. And going via Perth adds no differentiation for passengers from the East Coast. If anything many would break journey and stop in dubai or singapore by choice rather then endure a 20 hour flight particularly on the 17 inch “dream”liner coach seats.

    Ultimately Qantas can only offer a competitive proposition from Europe or London if they are able to fly non-stop from the East Coast capitals. Till then they are better off focusing on the Americas.

  2. Good news for the 9W folks code-sharing on the Qantas flights out of Singapore. They can now ride on an A380 instead of the A330s

  3. Weird lah.
    Only thing I can figure out is this leaves emirates with empty slots at the airport. Something I feel they desperately need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *