Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline’s subsidiary will commence flights from Singapore to 13 countries next month, in the Qantas Group’s bid to strengthen ties in Asia. At last week’s Melbourne Press Club the carrier’s head said the Asian region was interlinked with Australia’s future and the Qantas Group “plans to contribute to Australia’s Asian future, and also benefit from it”. “We are already laying the ground work with Asia,” Mr Joyce said. “We are looking closely at all opportunities to participate in the Asian opportunity and benefit ourselves, our customers and shareholders, and Australia.” Mr Joyce said up to 56 million Chinese people booked international vacations last year and expects this number to increase by 16 percent per year until 2020. The Qantas Group is also getting its claws into the growing freight market in Asia, recently adding Seoul- Miami service to its existing Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai routes.The new Singapore commercial flights will stop at 25 destinations including seven ports in Greater China.