Qantas Airways, the flag carrier of Australia, has added Seoul to its long-haul network after nearly 15 years. On December 10, the airline launched direct flights on the Sydney-Seoul route, connecting the capital of New South Wales to South Korea’s capital. Qantas deployed an Airbus A330-300 aircraft to inaugurate the 11-hour direct service from Sydney to Seoul.
Qantas’ long-haul expansion
Since Australia lifted the pandemic-era travel restrictions, Qantas has resumed or launched flights to 28 international destinations. One of them is Seoul, the Alpha city of South Korea. Yesterday, the flagship airline returned to South Korea’s capital for the first time after 2008. Initially, it will operate four-weekly flights between Sydney Airport (SYD) and Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN).
.@Qantas has launched a new direct service from Sydney to Seoul for the first time in nearly 15 years! 🇦🇺✈️🇰🇷— Sydney Airport (@SydneyAirport) December 11, 2022
QF87 will operate four days per week during the peak summer season with an Airbus A330 aircraft. Flights will operate three times a week between May and October. pic.twitter.com/V8HXl8t1Tb
Sydney-Seoul flight itinerary
Flight QF 87 will operate the outbound service to Seoul Incheon Airport, whereas QF88 will perform the return service. The flight schedule for the Sydney-Seoul route is published as follows:
QF87: Depart SYD at 09: 35 and arrive in ICN at 18: 20 local time
QF88: Depart ICN at 19: 50 and arrive in Sydney at 08: 15 local time the next day
Qantas’ four-weekly non-stop service to Seoul will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. However, the carrier will operate just three weekly SYD-ICN flights during the non-peak season.
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The Airbus A330-300 aircraft will operate the long-haul trip on this route, covering a distance of 5,384 miles (8,665 km). It usually takes 10 hours and 45 minutes to fly non-stop from Sydney to Seoul.
Joining JetStar on the route
Jetstar Airways, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas, was the first to fly between Sydney and Seoul. The low-cost carrier launched the thrice-weekly service on the SYD-ICN route on November 2, using Boeing 787. Starting December 10, Qantas has joined Jetstar on this route to offer more than 200,000 passenger seats annually.
With this service addition, customers have more choices to fly to Seoul. The combined flights of the two airlines operate six days a week (Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays in part of Jetstar). The presence of premium and low-fare airlines makes visiting both countries more convenient, affordable, and better connected than ever before.
Jetstar passengers will fly onboard Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Seoul, whereas Qantas passengers will have the Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The Australian flag carrier touts a fleet of 10 A330-300s and 18 A330-200s for long-haul operations. The A330-300s have two classes configured with 28 lie-flat seats in business class and 269 in economy.
Meeting the strong demand.
South Korea is one of the largest trading partners in Australia and a must-see destination for Australians. Likewise, Australia enjoys enduring popularity among South Korean travelers as the top destination they want to visit. The combination of Qantas and Jetstar flight services will cater to this route’s strong business, premium leisure, and low-cost travel demand. This will benefit travelers in both directions and boost tourism activities.
To celebrate the Seoul route, Qantas has added a fresh Asian flavor to passenger travels with a Korean-inspired menu onboard. The national carrier has introduced a Korean menu inflight to delight passengers’ palates with Beef bulgogi, veg bibimbap, and Banchan.
The national carrier Qantas axed its Seoul route in January 2008. So, it is entering the same route for the first time in almost 1.5 decades. It will compete with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines to serve the passenger demand on the Sydney-Seoul route. The flag carrier of South Korea uses Airbus A330s to operate daily service in this sector. Similarly, Seoul-headquartered Asiana Airlines serves Sydney Airport seven days a week using Boeing 777 aircraft.
Starting December 23, Korea-based T’way Air will inaugurate its first long-haul service with flights to Sydney. The low-cost carrier is a new entrant in the Seoul-Sydney sector, making it a five-way market. The airline is set to operate 4 x times weekly flights from Seoul Incheon to Kingsford Smith International airport. It will rely on 347-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft to take off the ground to Sydney.
Qantas’ other new international routes
Among Qantas’ 28 new international routes, eight belong to countries that weren’t listed on its pre-pandemic network. Since opening Australia‘s borders, Qantas has launched new services to countries like Italy, India, South Korea, etc.
As a part of its ultra-long haul expansion, the carrier has planned to spread its wings to several major cities in the US, UK, Europe, South Africa, and Brazil. This month, Qantas will restore its sixth behemoth, A380, back into service in response to the growing demand.