Qantas is reportedly considering launching direct flights from Perth to Johannesburg. Complementing Qantas’ existing route from Sydney to South Africa, the new service would directly compete with South African Airways.
The new Qantas flights from Perth to Johannesburg would operate 4x weekly from 7 December 2018, using an Airbus A330-200.
Routes Online reports that Qantas filed a preliminary GDS schedule for a direct Johannesburg-Perth service earlier this week. This listing has since been removed, but this is a sign that work is going on the background to prepare for the route’s launch.
The proposed schedule would see flights operating on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7 December 2018. QF65 from Perth to Johannesburg would reportedly depart at 12.45pm, which would mean an arrival in Johannesburg at around 6.30pm. The return flight QF66 would depart Johannesburg at 10.25pm, arriving in Perth at 2pm the following day.
Should the new route go ahead, it is possible that it would operate on a seasonal basis over the Christmas and summer holiday period. This would be similar to Qantas’ seasonal Perth-Auckland route, which utilises A330s that would otherwise sit on the ground in Perth over the weekend during summer.
A seasonal service from Perth to Johannesburg would make a lot of sense for Qantas as demand for flights to South Africa is high over summer. Qantas enjoyed average load factors above 90% on its flights between Sydney and Johannesburg over December and January this year.
Qantas and South African Airways are currently the only carriers flying between Australia and South Africa. Qantas flies daily from Sydney to Johannesburg, while South African Airways flies daily from Perth. The two airlines used to codeshare on each others’ services, but regulators removed authorisation in 2014.
We’ll have to wait for further details about the new Qantas service to Johannesburg. But if the route goes ahead, this would be exciting news for Qantas customers – not just in Perth, but also flyers in other Australian cities who must currently fly to South Africa via Sydney. Despite the competition from South African Airways, the Perth-Johannesburg route is likely to be successful for Qantas. Qantas’ refurbished A330s offer a better product than South African Airways’ old A340s currently flying to Perth. As long as the price was right, it wouldn’t be difficult for Qantas to fill four A330s per week.
Here’s hoping Cape Town might also be on the cards!
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas has filed Johannesberg – Perth flights from December 7th 2018