Qantas eyes Boeing 787 for New Zealand flights

The new flagship might bring selected Auckland routes under its wing.

By David Flynn, April 20 2021
Qantas eyes Boeing 787 for New Zealand flights

While the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble has just begun, Qantas is already considering flying its Boeing 787s from Sydney and Melbourne to Auckland.

The Dreamliner's debut on the popular trans-Tasman routes could come in the lead-up to a restart of Qantas' international network, which is currently slated for October 31.

With the Airbus A380s grounded until 2023-2024, the Boeing 787-9s are now Qantas' new flagship and will take over the bulk of long-distance flying to the USA, London and Johannesburg.

The red-tailed Dreamliners have most recently been assigned to repatriation flights, helping bring Australians home from all corners of the globe.

Read more: With borders closed, where is Qantas flying its Boeing 787s?

The federal government's most recent support package for the aviation and tourism industry included monthly 'retention payments' to help subsidise the wages of stood-down international airline crew and also ensure the international fleet is ready to spring back once overseas travel resumes.

Executive Traveller understands that as part of that prep, Qantas could roster the Boeing 787-9 onto Sydney-Auckland and Melbourne-Auckland services, which are currently flown by the twin-aisle Airbus A330.

Domestic Dreamliner runs are less likely due to the plane's premium-heavy configuration, with 42 seats in business class and 28 in premium economy – a recipe which would be better suited to the NZ business and leisure travel market.

A Qantas spokesperson declined to offer on-the-record comment on the airline's plans for the Boeing 787 prior to its return to long-range flying.

Also read: “We think we will reactivate all of the A380s” says Qantas CEO


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.