Wednesday, 24 August 2011

QantAsia - for China's rich and famous?

Last week, Qantas told us that it was setting up a new premium airline in Asia. In an article published yesterday on the Air Transport World site, Mr Joyce has given some more details:
QF CEO Alan Joyce told ATW the new airline will be modeled on the exclusive business-only aircraft operated by British Airways (BA) that flies as a virtual private jet to bankers crossing the North Atlantic. “This product will be better than anything else seen in Asia with lie-flat beds in the business cabin, superior to the award winning first class A380 beds,” Joyce said.
Asian Base, A320 Aircraft
The new Airline will use the A320, which has a limited (roughly) 6,000km range. That would get you from Sydney/Melbourne to Singapore, and from Singapore to most of china, japan and India, and with the new Neo version of the jet - even the middle east. See this cute Map.  The article goes on to say:
Up for grabs are the aspirations of the world’s fastest growing travel market. According to the Australia-based Lowy Institute, within 20 years 16% of the world’s middle class will be in East Asia.
“China may already have the world’s fourth-largest population of millionaires and India the twelfth largest,” Joyce said. “These are many, many millions of premium travelers in-waiting and we know that Chinese travelers rate prestige brands and safety as among their top travel priorities.”
More stops to get to China or Europe?
This might be good news for those traveling within Asia, but not so good if you are an Australian business class traveler. You can currently fly direct to China, India and the middle east on some pretty good carriers. You would hardly want to fly out of Sydney or Melbourne, only to change planes in Singapore to fly to China - or fly onto the middle east, only to change planes again to get to Europe, when you can get to major cities in China with no stops, and to Europe with only one.

Intra Asia makes sense?
The only way this makes sense is if its a premium service operating within Asia. Not going to be easy competing with the likes of Singapore, Cathay and Thai, I would have thought.

Scources: Air Transport World, Australian Business Traveller

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