Qantas Sees Greater Demand for Asia than USA

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Qantas is making changes to its flight services in response to changing demand from its passengers, with Aussie travelers showing less interest in US destinations and a stronger interest in Asia.

After welcoming joint venture partner American Airlines Down Under, the air industry giant recently announced it will cut back its US services in 2016, and send bigger planes to Asia, reported Herald Sun.

Qantas is also increasing capacity on Singapore flights, and operating a seasonal service to Bali in December and January.

A Boeing 747 will replace A330s on three services a week to Hong Kong, providing about 200 extra seats each week.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the growth was “all about responding to strong demand we’re seeing in a wide range of Asian markets”.

“For the past 18 months, we’ve been taking a more dynamic, agile approach across our international network and this is another example of that strategy,” said Mr Joyce.

“We’re using our fleet more efficiently to give customers a greater choice of flights and more seats into Asia, at the same time as we meet demand for travel to North America in partnership with American Airlines.”

The declining interest in US travel, according to Herald Sun, is expected to flatten due to the weaker dollar.

Despite the outlook, Qantas and American Airlines will still fly twice daily between Sydney and LA, and Qantas will also operate six services a week to San Francisco from late December.

“We’re still seeing strong demand on US routes, but capacity growth in the market will trend down from about 9 per cent now, to about six per cent in 2015-16 as a whole,” Mr Joyce said.

“The lower dollar seems to have more of a positive effect on demand into Australia than a dampening effect on travel demand out of the country.

“Australians tend to compensate for a weaker currency by simply spending less when they are away, rather than changing their destination altogether.”

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Lisa Nikolau

Lisa Nikolau is a freelance writer who has been specializing in travel, culture and current events since 2012. She currently writes on travel and news related topics for YouTravel.com.au.She has traveled to Peru, throughout west and eastern Europe, and has lived in southern Spain.At the moment, Lisa’s favorite pastimes are learning foreign languages, exploring hiking trails in the Olympic National Forest, and ending the day with friends at one of Seattle’s many microbreweries.