AVIATION | Karen Mesina, Singapore

Qantas CFO Narendra Kumar reveals insights on Kangaroo route shift

How did they deal with the issue?

Singapore Business Review recently caught up with Narendra Kumar, Chief Financial Officer Qantas International at Qantas Airways. Here's what he has to say on three pressing issues Qantas is currently facing.

SBR: Amidst all the negative speculations about Qantas' Kangaroo route move, is Singapore still as important to you?

We have been flying Singapore for 75 years now, and it continues to be an important market and destination for Qantas. In line with the Qantas Group strategy of ‘Growing with Asia’, we are focused on promoting Singapore as a key hub for the region.

In March this year we launched a new schedule which concentrates on Asia itself, rather than being based on through-flights to Europe. The new Asia promotes direct services to Asia and onward connections within Asia on Qantas partner airlines.

This was the first step in a phased approach to make Qantas the best choice for customers flying between Asia and Australia. Earlier this year, we also unveiled a multi-million dollar investment - - the new Qantas Singapore Lounge in Changi Airport. . We’ve received tremendous feedback on the lounge from our passengers travelling to and from Singapore.

SBR: What are your further plans for capacity increase on services between Singapore and Australia?

Our new Asia schedule has delivered better frequencies, connectivity and timings for our customers. We have also increased dedicated capacity by 40 per cent on our services between Singapore and Australia.

The joint Qantas and Emirates network into Asia has provided our customers with a fresh set of options, including double daily services to Singapore. Together, Qantas and Emirates operate a total of 49 flights per week between Singapore and Australia, including double daily services from Singapore to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, on a mix of A330, B747 and B777 aircraft.

Singapore is a very important market for Qantas, so we will continue to review and respond to customer demand for this route.

SBR: The growth of Singapore-Europe traffic has slowed in recent years due to the challenging economic conditions in Europe, but is now getting better. How is Qantas dealing with this?

Our global partnership with Emirates has a lot of potential for growth, especially in terms of route networks. Emirates’ network in Europe is unparalleled, and so is Qantas’ network in Australia.

What we’re working towards for this partnership is to maximise our individual strengths as an airline, and combine them together to provide Qantas and Emirates customers the best product offering in the aviation industry in terms of flight connections, enhanced customer experience, and an expanded flight network.

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