Singapore’s Changi airport took it on the chin recently when Qantas announced their deal with Emirates, making Dubai their new Europe to Australia hub. Starting in April of next year, flights in between London and Frankfurt, and Australia will connect in Dubai.
Even though Changi officials have tried to minimize the perceived hurt put on Singapore travel, no increased connections (as suggested) between Singapore and the Australian continent could make up for the Eurasia connection lost. Qantas currently serves Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide through Changi with some 90 flights each week.
The problem for Singapore is not Qantas deciding to restructure their routes and profitability, but rather the trend of competition from Dubai. Emirates is a rapidly growing entity, but the location and viability of Dubai as a travel hub is what makes this news critical for Changi and Singapore too. The so called kangaroo route between Australia and Europe is one of the most competitive in the industry. Experts seem to be predicting competition for such routes, and alliances like the Qantas-Emirates one, to be on the rise.
Singapore, when all is said and done, is already deep into East Asia. Dubai, on the other hand, is within range of Asia as well as many other regions such as Africa. Like all such deals, much remains to be seen. For the traveler though, a bit longer leg between Dubai and Brisbane can be expected for your next “kangaroo” hop.