Qantas – London Heathrow to Perth

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This topic contains 55 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  MarkivJ 16 Apr 2018
at 11:53
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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 56 total)

  • Flightlevel
    Participant

    The future of longhaul travel. The A380 can carry 400 premium economy seats on LD and 100 business seats economically and with the right level of service compete the way SWAL did 40 years ago! Nonstop on OZ-EU route too, even to LHR.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Many interesting comments.
    Alex, i lived and worked in Sydney for several years. As far as i remember an still to this day, If you toom one Airline from LHR-Oz cities, if you made the same trip in AU$ ex Australia cities (eg Sydney), you will pay twice the price for an economy ticket. Business is from AUD $8,000, even if you divided this to the Sterling rate to AU$, at 2.15 15 months ago, to the 1.6 now, this also does mane a difference.
    ASs does the value of the £ for everyday use, ad hotel and apartments for a month, used to be at a good regular client discount about £110 a night. They now exceed £300 per night.

    So the Australians have always paid twice the amount for Y cabins on the same airline 3-4 times than do, just commencing in Oz.

    I have advised friends to book a 1 way ex Oz – UK, then purchase returns ex UK in Business so they purchase From the EU saving huge amounts for all travelers.

    Yes, you can get a return in Business on Vietnam Airlines on their Dreamliner’s from £1,300 ex UK.
    Perth was fare cheaper, and the least distance.
    I spoke to some Australian travelers on my Garuda flight was week, and they would use the new Qantas service, but only in a Business seat. 18 hours is very cramped on a 787, and no where to go just sit there, and the impact on the body will be fundamentally stronger. there remains the problem of Port of entry being Perth, clearing customs and immigration, and technically taking a domestic route for the other cites. It is highly likely, more medical incidents will occur on this flight.

    I think The Dreamliner is fantastic an aircraft, but too small for an 18 hour flight.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Marcus – Back in the IATA fare-setting days all member airlines were obliged to raise or lower their fares in response to currency fluctuations. Nowadays fares reflect market conditions.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    What I was trying to say is that currency values mean that travellers in some countries will now pay more than those in others.

    Back in the 1980s when the A$ was weak and where airlines tended to discount there were bargains to be had DownUnder.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    The flights start this weekend, with the inaugural landing at London Heathrow on Sunday, I believe.

    The Perth lounge is open

    Qantas unveils Perth lounge ahead of nonstop London flights

    There are a lot of interesting artices on the subject, many from the passenger point of view, but also from the business side.

    First Direct Australia to U.K. Flight Prepares for Take Off

    An analysis of flight times and prices highlights the challenges Qantas faces.

    Flying business class from Perth to London with Qantas in mid-June would cost A$6,614 ($5,121). Opting for Singapore Airlines via Singapore would take an extra 2 1/2 hours but cost just A$4,843, according to fares on Webjet.”

    Not everyone is convinced of the route’s commercial future.

    “Aircraft leaving Perth for London will need feeder passengers from around Australia, said Volodymyr Bilotkach, senior lecturer in economics at Newcastle University in the U.K. and author of the book “The Economics of Airlines.” But flying from Sydney to London via Perth saves little time over a transfer in Asia or the Gulf. And for travelers heading from Perth to continental Europe, a connection in the Middle East would be more convenient, he said.

    “The Perth-London service looks more like a PR stunt than a network-building tool,” Bilotkach said in an email.

    Good piece and graphics in the FT piece

    Qantas pushes boundaries with 17-hour ‘kangaroo route’

    Airline plans more ultra-long-hauls as it launches direct flight from Australia to UK


    rferguson
    Participant

    GivingupBA I can answer a little about the cabin crew operations:

    There will be ten cabin crew onboard, all LHR based. Four will work in Business, two in PE and four in Economy.

    Only one crew will operate each sector.

    The crew rest downroute will be as little as one local night (jeez!) although this will vary from one to two nights. And accommodated in a rather modest hotel hmmm. Obviously the LHR crew are also starting to fly LHR-SIN (again just one local night there – those guys do work hard!) but at least they have very nice digs in SIN 😉


    GivingupBA
    Participant

    GivingupBA I can answer a little about the cabin crew operations:

    There will be ten cabin crew onboard, all LHR based. Four will work in Business, two in PE and four in Economy.

    Only one crew will operate each sector.

    The crew rest downroute will be as little as one local night (jeez!) although this will vary from one to two nights. And accommodated in a rather modest hotel hmmm. Obviously the LHR crew are also starting to fly LHR-SIN (again just one local night there – those guys do work hard!) but at least they have very nice digs in SIN ?

    rferguson, Thank you for your reply and for all the information, all very interesting stuff!


    capetonianm
    Participant

    rferguson :
    “There will be ten cabin crew onboard, all LHR based. Four will work in Business, two in PE and four in Economy. Only one crew will operate each sector”
    As it’s a single sector flight, are you saying that the crew is on duty for the entire flight, albeit perhaps with rest periods? 17 hours on duty? That’s tough, specially with time shift fatigue.
    What about the flight deck manning?


    rferguson
    Participant

    rferguson :
    “There will be ten cabin crew onboard, all LHR based. Four will work in Business, two in PE and four in Economy. Only one crew will operate each sector”
    As it’s a single sector flight, are you saying that the crew is on duty for the entire flight, albeit perhaps with rest periods? 17 hours on duty? That’s tough, specially with time shift fatigue.
    What about the flight deck manning?

    Yes. The cabin crew will operate the entire sector. They will likely get a break of around five hours and this may be split into two smaller breaks each. For example, on BA’s longhaul flights the after take off service finishes, half the crew then go to the bunks while the other half stay on duty. Then they swap over. Then everyone is back for the pre landing service. Our longest sectors are around 14hrs and we may get 3hr30min-4hr rest in one go on such flights. On the QF PER-LHR-PER sectors they are proposing that each crew member will receive two lots of breaks. So say service finishes, first lot go on break for two hours, come back and swap over, second break comes back and goes on another 2-3hr break and repeat.

    I agree with you regarding the possibility of fatigue and whatever way the rest is worked out it will be exhausting especially factoring a vast time zone change. QF are doing something very odd with the downroute cabin crew rest. Usually an entire crew will stick together for an entire itinerary. With this service, 6 of the crew will spend a double night in PER, four will spend a single night (which seems ridiculously short after such a flight). However, those six that spend the extra night will have a standby duty in PER the free day they have there. So, if anyone on the single nightstop phones in ‘fatigued’ one of the crew on the double night will be able to be called from standby to operate back in their place. I’ve never heard of a split itinerary or downroute standby at any other airline before.

    There are four flight crew. Two sets.

    Saying that, the QF rosters are still a play in the park compared to the kind of itinerary the likes of cabin crew at QR or EK work to. Minimum rest after almost every flight, breaks split into three instead of two. They are able to for example fly overnight from MNL – DXB, land in the morning then fly out again to BOM late that night. Few are able to keep up the pace for more than a few years. Qantas seems to have pretty decent retention – but let’s see if that remains the case once PER becomes a regular thing. Coupled with SIN night stops (again a very small amount of rest after a long flight – even BA Mixed Fleet get two nights there) they will work tiring flights. Thankfully the QF crew will still have a reasonable amount of time off back at base (LHR) to rest. If they operate a single night layover in PER they will receive 5 days off back at base. On the double night in PER, four days off. QF have recently started adhering to the pan-european EASA limit of 900 flying hours per annum for cabin crew (measured from push back to chocks on). Despite their crews being based in LHR at on UK contracts they resisted the 900hr rule for quite a while on the basis that their crews were working on australian registered aircraft.


    Mark Caswell
    Keymaster

    Tom has now published his review of the inaugural Perth-bound service here:

    Flight review: Qantas B787-9 business class (QF10)


    EUFlyer
    Participant

    referguson – very insightful as always.

    I can only imagine this must be a very hard trip for crew and it’s a little shocking that they get such little rest downroute. Must be even harder now given that the LHR based crew were previously doing 7 hour legs to Dubai with similar rest downroute.

    I wonder how this route will fare commercially. It’s only really attractive to those in Business and perhaps Prem Economy. Economy must be hell and actually quite unhealthy. Given the expected demand for Business and Premium Economy it will also mean that upgrades will be few and far between, making it far less attractive to frequent flyers in Economy with status.

    Perhaps if demand is strong enough, they will increase Business and leave the Economy passengers to fly the A380 service via Singapore (which is a great airport to transit!!).

    Time will tell.


    rferguson
    Participant

    AexF, thanks.

    I guess airlines these days prefer a ‘healthy turnover’ of cabin crew and I imagine there is a sweet spot as to the duration an airline desires a crew member to stay.

    Although a 17hr flights is at the extreme end of ‘long haul’ rest downroute has reduced dramatically for many airlines. QF crews only ever had one night in SIN when flying from LHR which although not a 17hr flight is still at the long end of the scale. In the crew hotel in Buenos Aires which we share with almost every other airline that flies to EZE (the hotel occupancy must literally be 60% crew) I was chatting with some crews from Iberia and Alitalia and was surprised to learn they stay only 24hours.

    Emirates, Qatar and Etihad are all pretty notorious for having nothing more than the minimum amount of rest downroute (even after flights nearing 17hrs) as scheduling agreements are obviously non existent and they just work to what is legally allowed.

    Even within the same airline it can vary. Within BA if the legacy crew were to operate to JNB or CPT they would need two nights there. Mixed Fleet only stay one night (hence why they crew both those routes I guess).

    In terms of being a commercial success I think it’s a route only QF could make work. It’s worth remembering that QF were rostering a daily MEL-LHR via DXB service on an A380 and the loads on the DXB-LHR segment were very poor. Although the PER-LHR aspect of the QF9 is getting all the press, it’s actually MEL-PER-LHR having replaced the A380 via DXB. So i’d imagine the majority of passengers would be originating and terminating in MEL with those of those wanting to go to other european ports from MEL flying QF to DXB then transferring onto EK. I guess the PER-CDG flight that is rumoured will likely originate in SYD again with most passengers originating and finishing their journey on the east coast instead of PER.


    Mark Caswell
    Keymaster

    We have now added a video review of the flight to the original review:

    Flight review: Qantas B787-9 business class (QF10)

    And Tom has also posted a video walk through of the Qantas Lounge at Heathrow T3, as well as a look at which seats to choose in business and premium economy on the Qantas B787-9:


    capetonianm
    Participant

    EUFlyer
    Participant

    In terms of being a commercial success I think it’s a route only QF could make work. It’s worth remembering that QF were rostering a daily MEL-LHR via DXB service on an A380 and the loads on the DXB-LHR segment were very poor. Although the PER-LHR aspect of the QF9 is getting all the press, it’s actually MEL-PER-LHR having replaced the A380 via DXB. So i’d imagine the majority of passengers would be originating and terminating in MEL with those of those wanting to go to other european ports from MEL flying QF to DXB then transferring onto EK. I guess the PER-CDG flight that is rumoured will likely originate in SYD again with most passengers originating and finishing their journey on the east coast instead of PER.

    Actually QF have pulled out of DXB using their own metal and their Europe hubs now are PER and SIN. Add those 2 legs together and you get a PERSIN (…very bad joke).

    The hope with PER is that it can be an easier hub to feed into and out of than Singapore, which is true. It will also boost flights to/from PER given that demand there has fallen post mining boom in Aus. But all that doesn’t take away from the fact that, Perth Airport aint no Changi for transiting and there is some confusion as to whether tiered non QF9 MEL originating pasengers will get access to the new QF Transit lounge at PER. Secondly, there is a difference between flying 12-13 hours in Y from SIN to LHR and 17 from PER to LHR. Those extra 4-5 hours will make a tough flight in Y perhaps unbearable. I suspect, given the option of alternatives, QF9/10 will be flights to miss for those in Y (which is halfthe plane) and QF1/2 via SIN the preferred choice.

    Time will tell.

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