Qantas will get three new Boeing 787s in June
The newly-delivered Dreamliners will help open new routes and bring down airfares, the airline says.
Qantas plans to add three new Boeing 787 jets to its fleet in June as the airline continues to rebuild its international network, which could see the Dreamliners winging their way to Paris or Chicago.
In addition to opening up new routes, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce also expects these new arrivals will play a part in bringing down airfares.
“We’ve got three new 787s arriving in June that are two years late because of supply chain issues,” Joyce told Perth radio station 6PR on Friday.
Those same issues have seen shortfall of ready spare parts for aircraft, “so we’ve had to put a lot of aircraft in reserve” to step in when other aircraft develop mechanical faults or require replacement parts during regular service.
“Usually suppliers have (parts) in stock but you’re now waiting nine days for when an aircraft is on the ground… as we get these supply chains back (in order) we’ll be able to put those aircraft back in the air and that will also bring airfares down.”
The 787s – which will arrive in Qantas’ standard Boeing 787-9 configuration of 42 lie-flat business class beds, 28 premium economy recliners and 166 economy seats – will swell the size of the red-railed Dreamliner fleet to 14.
And as more of those 787s are freed up the reactivation of the final four Airbus A380s across this year “we'll see a lot of (international) capacity being added back in… and airfares coming down more and more,” Joyce predicted.
But airfares will continue to be constrained by inflationary factors “and for us particularly fuel price, which is the largest cost in flying aircraft,” Joyce noted, adding that oil and jet fuel was “up up 65% compared to pre-Covid levels, so unless fuel comes down – and maybe if the Ukraine war ends, we could see a reduction in fuel (prices) – but at the moment that’s a big impost on airfares.”
Rebalancing the international network will in turn see an increase in the number of Airbus A330s assigned to domestic east-west routes.
Those twin-aisle jets with their 1-2-1 business class flatbeds are a vital weapon in Qantas’ battle with Virgin Australia, given the arch-rival’s fleet is limited to the Boeing 737 and its more conventional two-abreast recliners.
“We do want to put more A330s onto east-west,” Joyce told 6PR’s Ollie Peterson during the ‘Perth Live’ show.
“We’re the only airline now that flies wide-bodies on east-west… we have put more on in recent months but at the moment because our A380s are taking a while to reactivate, the A330s are being used to help grow international operations.”
“Eventually as the A380s come back into operation we’ll be bring those (A330s) back onto the domestic operation to upgrade services between the east and the west.”
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15 Sep 2012
Total posts 96
Qantas should use them and more aircraft to open more routes to Europe. Athens, Frankfurt, Rome, Paris, Istanbul certainly but also places like Croatia, Istanbul, Madrid, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Zurich. Go back to hubbing in Singapore! It worked very well in 80s and 90s! Also look at a service to Male in Maldives and Addis Adaba. Start services to lots more Asian destinations - Kuala Lumpur, Vietnam, Colombo, and more Indian Cities. It's Time to return Qantas services to the rest of the world when people are keen to holiday overseas. Stop the emphasis on Business travelers and catwr for the new tourism markets!
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
06 Sep 2012
Total posts 226
As ambitious as those routes may be, majority of them are not going to work in today's market. Plus hubbing in Singapore against Singapore Airlines who has better hub connectivity, time schedules and an overall better cabin product across its fleet? Sure fire quick way to run QF back into the red.
19 Apr 2012
Total posts 1435
Of those Rome is on, Paris (probably), Athens hasn’t been for years VFR faded decades ago, Istanbul (no clear market), the other five very unlikely for the same reason. Need good business links for qantas to fly it. Tourism and VFR are not enough.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
29 Nov 2013
Total posts 481
A lot of what Joyce is saying makes sense. Once more A380's are back in service and with the extra 787's coming they'll be able to return BNE-LAX to a 787 and hopefully open up BNE-ORD (Chicago). Chicago excites me as I think it's one of the best American Airlines hubs in NA.
As a Brisbanite, I miss my annual fix of Chicago winter chill as well
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
11 Oct 2014
Total posts 681
It makes sense, but primarily to Alan ..
Not to put too much of negative spin on it, but one has to admit that it is the QF management team that decided to furlough the A380 fleet to 2024. Good decision when first announced. However, clearly, someone was asleep at the wheel and not responding to how the market opened up (from November 2021 for international) and evolved during 2022. This senior management is paid mega-dollars to understand the market, analyse and estimate its needs .. and then provide a competitive responses, which generates a profit.
Now, we all know that it takes some 3-4 months to rehabilitate a parked A380, so planning should have been all over this. The standard LHR (via SIN) route needs a rotation of 3 A380 frames to operate daily, and then add in requirements for LAX, which are clearly the 2 major A380 routes. Unfortunately, destinations don't normally open up in neatly defined, sequential steps during a pandemic - but 2022 has been relatively stable with an absence of shutdowns in Europe, North America and Australia.
Look at the EK, SQ, QR and BA example (faster re-engagement) with their A380 network re-introduction vs the QF and LH (both behind the 8-ball). The QF position may have short-lived protection benefits of keeping international airfares high, but it shows how badly prepared QF is / was .. given that it is clearly short of international capacity. The dependence on a starkly stretched small B787-9 fleet and the hasty reorganization of schedules - (how many times have we seen destinations announced and pushed back ie: SFO ? how many cancelled flights due to maintenance issues ie: JQ B787-8's) .. matched with a few new or rehashed 'surprise' destinations - and QF's competition is now benefitting from that.
Also, Alan is way too fond of publicly blaming fuel price increases, but is loathe to admit that fuel prices are now falling .. QF has been a successful fuel hedger for decades. Perhaps, he might have to start factoring those considerations into what are generally expected falls in airfare prices? Certainly, the doubling of economy (Y) fares to Europe and North America that we've witnessed over 2022-23 is definitely more than the '20% increase' that he quoted this morning in his presentation. And those unsustainable domestic fare buckets? The ACCC is watching very closely.
18 Feb 2023
Total posts 1
Start by replacing A330s from BNE to Asia, many businesses travellers work in Asia and have a very poor availability of Premium Economy (with none out of BNE)
With A330s freed up, make sure you don’t add them as more flight to Perth out of SYD/MEL but a first A330 connection from BNE to PER