Qantas is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its first Short Empire flying boat services to Singapore, which took off from Sydney’s first international airport at Rose Bay on 4 August 1938 and landed in Singapore’s Kallang Airport.
The journey on Qantas’ Short Empire flying boats took three days and involved overnight stops in Townsville, Darwin and Surabaya. Each flight offered up to 15 passengers seated in saloon-style comfort of the Short Empire. The Short Empire flying boat service was replaced by the long-range Catalina flying boat in 1943.
Qantas International Executive, Narendra Kumar, said the three-quarters of a century milestone highlighted Qantas’ long standing commitment to Singapore, which continues today.
“Qantas is proud of its history in Singapore. We have serviced the region for over 75 years and it continues to be a key market for the Qantas Group,” said Mr Kumar.
“The milestone comes in a year where Qantas has revitalised its services to Singapore, increasing capacity by 40 per cent and opening a new multi-million dollar premium Qantas Lounge at Changi Airport.
“Our services are no longer geared around flying to Singapore as a waypoint to Europe, but rather as a key destination in its own right. Our new Asia schedule promotes Singapore as a key hub, with better frequency and more connections.
“In March, we retimed our services between Singapore and Australia to improve connection times with flights brought forward by up to three hours to increase the number of onward connections within Asia.
“We continue to expand our Asia network. The Qantas Group operates 140 flights per week to 11 cities in Asia including services with partner airlines. Services to Singapore represent over a third of those services and we have fares available with partner airlines to over 120 additional Asian cities.”
The Qantas Group, a combination of Qantas and Jetstar and along with its partner airlines aims to provide the best travel options between Australia and Asia, all linked to one of the world’s leading frequent flyer programs.
The Qantas Group announced its ‘growing with Asia’ framework last year and continues to progress the four strategies under the plan.
Stronger links to the key hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong (better frequency and timings as well as increased dedicated capacity
Enhanced customer experience (improvements to cabin, in-flight entertainment, lounges)
Expanded network within Asia through local partners (such as Japan Airlines, China Eastern, Jet Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines)
Investigating an increase in destinations to Asia using the Qantas Group’s B787-9 options from 2016, coinciding with the turnaround of Qantas International (direct destinations under consideration include Beijing, Seoul, Mumbai, Delhi and Tokyo-Haneda).
Qantas continues to deliver on its strategy and following the opening of its new lounge in Singapore, will reconfigure its A330 fleet with lie flat business class seats and state of the art inflight entertainment, with the first aircraft to enter service in the second half of 2014.
Issued by Fulford Public Relations on behalf of Qantas Corporate Communication
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