Qantas has announced its ending the Sydney to Beijing route for the third time.
With decreasing business demand and excessive competition from Chinese state backed carriers, the route is again, no longer profitable.
Qantas restarted the route in 2009, having killed it after a 2006-9 operation and before that one that ended in the late 1980’s.
This time it’s a very different environment and the huge growth in Chinese carriers has resulted in them slashing the prices they offer from Beijing and effectively dumping unprofitable seats into the market.
Another disadvantage is that Chinese passengers are infinitely more pre-disposed to book with Chinese airlines and the Chinese airlines have the tourist market to Australia sewn up.
In many ways it’s just more evidence that the Chinese use their political and financial system to leverage advantages genuinely independent airlines like Qantas don’t have.
For example China operates a social score system that determines much of what you can do and acquire in China, all the way to what type of job you might get. If you flew Qantas over a Chinese airline you’re going to loose social score points for lack of patriotism.
Even so it’s a sad day when Australia’s preeminent airline is forced out of what should be a major market.
The airline operated an A332 7 days a week from 2017-18, cutting it to 5 days in May 2017. Services will end as the Northern summer schedule begins in March 2020.