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Qantas to commence services to Mumbai and Shanghai

Sydney, 17 February 2004

Qantas said today it had applied to the International Air Services Commission for the rights to commence non-stop services from Australia to Mumbai in India and Shanghai in China.

The Executive General Manager of Qantas Airlines, John Borghetti, said the Mumbai services would operate three times per week from 1 September 2004 on two-class Boeing 747-300 aircraft.

"These new services will, for the first time, operate non-stop to Mumbai, leaving Sydney on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and landing in Mumbai 11.5 hours later," he said.

Mr Borghetti said Qantas was also finalising plans to fly to Shanghai by the end of 2004.

"India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the burgeoning trade relationship between Australia and India has increased demand for business travel between our two countries," Mr Borghetti said.

"In total, inbound passenger numbers from India to Australia are on the rise.

"We are very excited about renewing our long-standing relationship with India which began in the 1940s, when our services stopped over in Calcutta."

Mr Borghetti said the new services highlighted the fact that Qantas' international operations were recovering from the devastating impact of the Iraq war and SARS.

"While we have been adding capacity to routes we currently serve through more flights and larger aircraft, Qantas is particularly pleased to be able to add new destinations to the Qantas network and provide more opportunities for tourists to come to Australia."

Qantas has recently announced it will:

* commence direct flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles from 14 June, the first time any airline has offered non-stop scheduled services on the route;

* fly non-stop between Perth and Hong Kong, and increase Brisbane-Hong Kong services, from next month; and

* increase capacity from Heathrow following the acquisition of two additional daily slots.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3034)
Media Contact: Corporate Communication
Email: qantasmedia@qantas.com.au