Darwin or Perth to London (and Europe)

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  • transtraxman
    Participant

    Darwin could be more advantageous than Perth to fly to London for Qantas. The difference in flight distances between Perth and Darwin in 630 kilometers which could mean more passengers and cargo. The disadvantage is the number of passengers to fill a flight. The Darwin – London flight might get full and be profitable but would the feeder flights be so?

    Transfer passengers could be substantial from Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide but the destination passengers into Darwin (and vice versa) would be small in number as Darwin only has a population of about 150.000 while Perth has 2.1million. Sydney passengers might be happy to remain with a one stop flight through Singapore or Hong Kong but then again the times of the flights might make an enormous difference.

    Incoming flights from Pacific Islands and New Zealand might also be interesting.This area could be extended to encomposs Indonesia, the Philipines and even parts of Malaysia. Waiting time between flights, flight times (both incoming and outgoing), arrival/departure times at/from outside destinations, all play their part in ensuring the success of such an enterprise. Who knows but maybe we reach a situation where there is enough traffic to offer both alternatives. Everything is possible.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    Darwin in my opinion is a non starter and if I remember correctly was tried before and quickly discontinued.
    The infrastructure is next to non existent in Darwin and its an unattractive stop for general tourists and not liked for business people.

    Perth is an attractive city that works as a stopover and many stayover there for a night or two.
    The fastest civilised way to London from the east coast is one stop from Sydney Melbourne or Brisbane is via Hong Kong (about 23hours)
    Ah- no good that with Cathay Pacific on the A350-1000.


    TominScotland
    Participant

    My understanding is that the reasoning behind considering Darwin is political and not directly commercial. The WA Government has taken a very hard line on entry during the pandemic and Perth, therefore, is a much riskier proposition for transit than Darwin.


    rferguson
    Participant

    My understanding is that the reasoning behind considering Darwin is political and not directly commercial. The WA Government has taken a very hard line on entry during the pandemic and Perth, therefore, is a much riskier proposition for transit than Darwin.

    Yes. Not only this but QF has been in dispute with Perth Airport for some time regarding the location of potential future long haul flights ex PER.

    QF’s main operations are in the domestic terminal, and the QF LHR-PER-MEL service transits via a special ‘transit lounge’ which is a wing of the Domestic terminal. The international terminal is over the other side of the airport. QF intended on launching PER-JNB before the pandemic but got bogged down in a dispute with Perth Airport who insisted that the PER-JNB service (as well as the future PER-CDG QF service) would not be able to use the same ‘transit terminal’ as the LHR-PER flight and would instead have to depart the International terminal. After months of bickering, QF pulled the plug on the PER-JNB route as PER airport wouldn’t budge on the terminal location. So odd for an airport to make launching new routes difficult!

    https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/qantas-scraps-perth-to-johannesburg-flight-plan-over-long-running-feud-with-perth-airport-ng-b88856611z

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    cwoodward
    Participant

    I had I am sure read that the dispute mentioned had been resolved but I of course stand corrected if my memory is wrong.


    rferguson
    Participant

    I had I am sure read that the dispute mentioned had been resolved but I of course stand corrected if my memory is wrong.

    Not entirely sure. But according to this article from this current month all is still not well between QF and PER.

    https://www.executivetraveller.com/news/qantas-flights-to-london-via-darwin


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Depressing how the conversation has pretty immediately turned to the question of disputes between Qantas and Perth airport, and the Western Australia government’s attitude to Covid. Where is the passenger’s interest and convenience in this?

    As an Englishman based in the UK but who (in happier times) flies relatively regularly to Australia – about every other year in the 2010s – I would find the switch from Perth to Darwin a complete turn-off. I have no interest in Darwin either from a business our a tourist perspective – I cannot be alone in this, especially the former – and would not add a stop-over there, so using Darwin immediately makes the whole of Australia that I do want to visit a two-flights-in-one-go destination again. At my age my body really doesn’t like that any more and I will therefore look for a stop-over and rest somewhere else.

    Which will probably be Singapore not HK (a matter of principle given the HKSAR government’s destruction of freedoms there, but also a matter of personal safety, having written critically about it on political blogs). Which in turn probably means I will use SQ not QF. Well played Qantas!

    Basing a decision which is unlikely to be customer-friendly (I am sure I am not alone in these thoughts) on a petty dispute which should be resolvable and a Covid restriction which we all hope won’t be for ever – though the way Australia is going it might be I suppose – seems to be to show both poor business sense and poor leadership from Qantas. Disappointing in the extreme.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    My understanding is that the reasoning behind considering Darwin is political and not directly commercial. The WA Government has taken a very hard line on entry during the pandemic and Perth, therefore, is a much riskier proposition for transit than Darwin.

    Yes. Not only this but QF has been in dispute with Perth Airport for some time regarding the location of potential future long haul flights ex PER.

    QF’s main operations are in the domestic terminal, and the QF LHR-PER-MEL service transits via a special ‘transit lounge’ which is a wing of the Domestic terminal. The international terminal is over the other side of the airport. QF intended on launching PER-JNB before the pandemic but got bogged down in a dispute with Perth Airport who insisted that the PER-JNB service (as well as the future PER-CDG QF service) would not be able to use the same ‘transit terminal’ as the LHR-PER flight and would instead have to depart the International terminal. After months of bickering, QF pulled the plug on the PER-JNB route as PER airport wouldn’t budge on the terminal location. So odd for an airport to make launching new routes difficult!

    https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/qantas-scraps-perth-to-johannesburg-flight-plan-over-long-running-feud-with-perth-airport-ng-b88856611z

    You are absolutely right rferguson, the make up of Perth airport and its layout is not really akin to International travel, even though the likes of EK and SQ fly there regularly it is a nightmare to go from one part of the airport to the other and all airlines have tried to get the WA Government to make sustainable changes to cater for International arrivals (since curtailed because of COVID)

    Having transited Perth many times from Internal to International or International to Domestic it really is a poor experience compared to other main airports in Australia

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    rferguson
    Participant

    Where is the passenger’s interest and convenience in this?

    This was also an issue when QF canned LHR-SIN-SYD/MEL in favour of LHR-DXB-SYD/MEL. Although transiting via DXB was appealing in terms of the amount of onward connections available with EK, customers on the whole just did not like the routing of the OZ – UK flights where there was one VERY long sector and one relatively short one. QF lost many customers to the likes of BA and other competitors flying via Asia.

    The proof is in the pudding. QF reverted to LHR-SIN-SYD a few years after.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    It seems rather an odd decision with April 22 just a few months away.
    A largely politically statement perhaps and the dispute just rolls on ?


    BrotherJim
    Participant

    Darwin isn’t that bad a place for a stop or to take international flights. Forgetting Qantas for a moment what makes Darwin good is it’s small size. Passengers joining in Darwin can make use of all the domestic airport facilities and then go through secondary baggage screening and immigration quite close to bidding time. I’ve done it a number of times on flights to Dili where the Qantas domestic lounge could be used. I’ve also flown to Singapore on Silk and was able to use a small lounge on the international size.

    On arrival again was perfectly fine as it its a small airport so not many passengers.

    As an aside Canberra airport also had the same benefits when it hosted international flights (pre covid).

    Now all that said believe in this case Qantas is just using it as a technical stop with I think I read a crew change. With all passengers remaining on board.

    This is due to transit issues in Singapore for QF1/2. Not sure when QF9/10 will be back on schedule but if Darwin is used for that it will be because of the Western Australian state border restrictions.

    Once Singapore and Perth are fully open again no doubt flights will fly over Darwin (QF1/2) on their way to Singapore and avoid it on flights via Perth.


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    QANTAS just flown longest ever commercial flight for themselves – EZE – DRW repatriation flight:

    https://www.traveller.com.au/longest-commercial-flight-in-qantas-history-flies-over-antarctica-en-route-to-australia-h1z0qh

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