Qantas suspends Perth growth, blames uncooperative airport

Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) has decided to suspend intercontinental growth plans at Perth Int'l due to what it sees as lack of cooperation on the airport's side, CEO Alan Joyce has said during a quarterly investors call as reported by The West Australian. "The concept of a western hub is a great one, it has great viability, we just need a cooperative airport to help expand it. We’re obviously keeping Perth-London Heathrow going but we’re suspending all other growth options until we have a resolution," Joyce has said. The Australian carrier has been planning to launch a service to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo out of Perth as a second long-haul intercontinental route. To ensure good connections, the service would need to be operated from the newly built international wing at the predominantly domestic Terminal 4, which Qantas uses for its Australian services. However, according to the airline, the airport does not want to allow these flights to operate out of this facility. The international Terminal 1 is located at the opposite side of the airport grounds. Currently, both Qantas' ultra-long-haul service to London Heathrow, as well as flights to Singapore Changi, depart from the international annex at Terminal 4. The international unit of Terminal 4 has been built with AUD14 million dollars (USD10.5 million) support from the regional government under a deal which preliminarily allowed the flag carrier to open routes to London and other destinations in Europe (Paris and Berlin or Frankfurt Int'l), Singapore, and New Zealand. The airport spokesperson has underlined that while Perth would be happy to see Qantas' direct service to Johannesburg, its focus lies with improving and expanding the existing international Terminal 1 due to the expected inflow of Asian passengers.


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