The launch of Qantas’ Melbourne to Hong Kong service, scheduled to begin on 26 March, has been postponed again.
As a result of labour shortages at the airport and cost increases by ground handling companies, the Hong Kong Free Press reported in January that airlines were finding it difficult to boost flight frequency.
Executive Traveller reported that Qantas plans to resume the service on 20 June. Cathay Pacific, headquartered in Hong Kong, is the only airline currently operating two to three flights daily on the route.
Beijing Capital Airlines returned to Melbourne this week, becoming the sixth airline to fly from the capital of Victoria to mainland China, despite the city’s weak connections to Hong Kong.
In February, there will be two flights from Qingdao every week. In March, there will be three flights per week.
“These flights are tremendously essential,” said Lorie Argus, CEO of Melbourne airport, “not only for the connection they create for Victorians with relatives in China but for the direct market access they provide to our cargo exporters.”
“It is a huge testament to their importance on our city and their trust in our market that six mainland Chinese airlines have resumed flights to Melbourne in only a few weeks.”
International students may be returning with tourists and family visits, as the majority of international flights into Melbourne have been arriving almost full.
We’ve worked hard with the Victorian Government to restore Melbourne’s capacity, and by the end of March, we anticipate returning to around 80% of the pre-pandemic seat totals.
The other airlines to return are China Southern, China Eastern, Air China, Sichuan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.