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1 Year On: Inside Qantas' Bengaluru Airbus A330 Route


  • Qantas celebrated the first anniversary of its Sydney-Bengaluru route on September 14th
  • In June 2023, Qantas transported an estimated 7,500 passengers on the route, with a 92% seat load factor
  • Qantas’ relationship with IndiGo was a vital source of passengers

A year has passed since Qantas inaugurated its never-served-before Sydney to Bengaluru route, covered in Simple Flying’s weekly routes newsletter. Analysis of booking data from June 2023 suggests that it filled 231 seats of the 255 available per flight that month, but loads are just one part of the performance puzzle.

Qantas to Bengaluru: a summary

At 10:11 on September 14th, 2022, Qantas flight QF67 departed Sydney bound for Bengaluru, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Qantas’ transfer opportunities over Sydney and its codeshare agreement with IndiGo were vital reasons for its attraction to the Indian city, but so was the point-to-point (P2P) market.

In pre-pandemic 2019, ~54,000 roundtrip passengers traveled between Bengaluru and Sydney, part of the burgeoning growth in India-Australia demand.

Qantas was further attracted by the relatively decent average one-way fare of US$514 (excluding taxes and any fuel surcharge), seemingly reflecting reasonable premium demand. While Bengaluru was a smaller P2P market than Delhi and Mumbai, its average fare (across all passengers) was higher.

Served four weekly

With flights on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the 5,810-mile (9,350 km) airport pair – even greater in distance than Los Angeles to London Heathrow – uses the Airbus A330-200. It usually deploys its 255-seat configuration, with 27 business seats and 228 economy seats. They are its lowest-density A330s because of extra toilets and crew rest areas.

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The 255-seat configuration has the smallest premium cabin of its widebody fleet. It is behind only the much more premium Boeing 787-9 as the only twin-aisle presently in its fleet with fewer economy seats. As the photo below shows, no expense was spared for the inaugural and historic flight celebration. (Yes, that is sarcasm.)


Photo: via Qantas.

Its September schedule is as follows, with all times local:

  • Sydney to Bengaluru: QF67, 09:05-16:20 (block time of 11h 45m)
  • Bengaluru to Sydney: QF68, 18:10-10:05+1 (11h 25m)

June 2023: analysis

According to Cirium, Qantas had 8,160 roundtrip seats for sale on this route in June, the most recent month for which information is available. Booking data suggests it carried approximately 7,500 passengers, meaning a seat load factor (SLF) of 92%. While SLF is just one part of the puzzle, it was nonetheless solid.

Qantas A330-200 taking off1

Photo: GingChen I Shutterstock

Delving deeper shows that the 7,500 passengers can be approximately split as follows:

  • 2,500 were point-to-point; they only flew between Sydney and Bengaluru
  • 1,800 transited in Sydney, having started in Bengaluru (Melbourne was the most popular)
  • 1,700 transited in Bengaluru, having started in Sydney (IndiGo flights; Ahmedabad was number one)
  • 1,500 transited in both Sydney and Bengaluru (Brisbane-Kochi was top)

The P2P market only accounted for a third of passengers. Without transit passengers, only 78 of the 255 seats would have been filled, making the route wholly uneconomic and unviable. Points three and four, mainly based on Qantas’ relationship with IndiGo, were crucial to filling the aircraft. Let us hope that fares and yields, along with freight, meet expectations.

Where else would you like Qantas to fly? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: Cirium, Flightradar24, booking data.


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