Australian oneworld member Qantas is making a series of updates to its Asia network with schedule changes and the launch of a new route.

From 28 July 2024, flights to Shanghai will be suspended due to low demand.

Qantas resumed its Sydney-Shanghai service in October last year after it was paused during the pandemic, however demand has not recovered as anticipated, the airline says.

Qantas will continue to monitor the Australia-China market closely and will look to return to Shanghai when demand has recovered.

Customers can continue to travel to Shanghai and other destinations in China on Qantas flights to Hong Kong with onward connections on partner airlines including Cathay Pacific.

Customers booked to travel on Shanghai flights from 28 July will be contacted and offered a full refund, or they can contact Qantas or their travel agent to discuss rebooking on alternative flights.

Aircraft previously used on the Shanghai route will be redirected to boost flying to other destinations across Asia where there is increasing demand or new tourism opportunities, Qantas says.

From 28 October 2024, Qantas will resume Brisbane-Manila, operating four days a week with Airbus A330-200 aircraft and marking the first time the airline has flown between the two cities in more than 10 years.

The flights add to Qantas’ existing daily service from Sydney and will add more than 100,000 seats between Australia and the Philippines each year.

With the upcoming winter schedule, Qantas will also increase flying to Singapore by around 10 per cent, offering more than 2,500 additional seats a week between Australia and the Lion City.

Sydney to Singapore will increase from 14 to 17 return flights per week from 11 December 2024, while Brisbane to Singapore will increase from seven to nine flights a week from 27 October 2024, timed to improve connectivity with Qantas’ daily service from Singapore to London.

Moreover, flights from Sydney to Bengaluru in India will also increase from five per week to daily to cater to strong demand over the peak holiday season. The extra flights will operate between mid-December 2024 and late March 2025, adding over 12,000 seats between the two cities over the four-month period.

“We’re always looking to ensure that we have the right aircraft, on the right routes and at the right time of year to best meet the needs of our customers,” said Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace.

“Since COVID, the demand for travel between Australia and China has not recovered as strongly as expected. In some months, our flights to and from Shanghai have been operating around half full.

“That’s why we’ve decided to suspend this route and boost flying to other popular destinations with a new route from Brisbane to Manila and additional flights to Singapore and Bengaluru. This will create more choice for our corporate and leisure customers and make it even easier for them to access the places they need to travel to in Asia.

“We’ll continue to maintain a presence in China through our partners and our existing flights to Hong Kong and look to return to Shanghai in the future,” Wallace said.