Qantas goes daily on Sydney-Santiago with Boeing 787

On flights to Santiago it's out with the old and in with the new, with a better business class plus more flights to choose from.

By Chris Chamberlin, August 8 2019

Qantas' Sydney-Santiago flights are in for an upgrade from late June 2020 with the airline swapping its four-times-weekly Boeing 747 service to a daily Boeing 787-9 flight.

The Dreamliner comes fitted with Qantas' newest and best business class seat, which transforms into a fully-flat bed and offers direct aisle access for every passenger:

Stretch out and rest in Qantas' Boeing 787 business class seats
Stretch out and rest in Qantas' Boeing 787 business class seats

Executive Traveller review: Qantas Boeing 787 business class

That's a significant upgrade to today's Boeing 747 experience which isn't as spacious, placing as many as seven business class passengers in each row, with a middie seat to boot (at least, on the lower deck).

Qantas' Boeing 747 business class SkyBeds, which are headed for retirement
Qantas' Boeing 747 business class SkyBeds, which are headed for retirement

Qantas will also continue offering premium economy on its Santiago flights, with the Boeing 787 bringing with it a cosy four-row, 28-seat cabin arranged in a 2-3-2 layout.

Premium economy aboard Qantas' Boeing 787s
Premium economy aboard Qantas' Boeing 787s

While the seats themselves are an upgrade to the older-style Boeing 747 premium economy cabin, a generous recline makes for limited legroom for the passenger behind.

Executive Traveller review: Qantas Boeing 787 premium economy

This switcheroo will come as Qantas takes delivery of six additional Dreamliner aircraft while also gradually retiring its older Boeing 747s, which will all leave the airline's fleet by the end of 2020.

Speaking with Executive Traveller at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Seoul earlier this year, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce explained how the Boeing 787 would be a better fit for Santiago than the Boeing 747, before formal plans were announced.

Compared to the Boeing 747, “it’s a smaller aircraft, the Boeing 787, so it allows you to build up the frequency (to Santiago). At the moment, we don’t have daily flights… so for us, (flying the Dreamliner) to South America isn’t going to be a problem.”

Read: Qantas paves the way for Boeing 787 flights to Santiago

Qantas' Oneworld alliance partner LATAM also flies between Sydney and Santiago with daily flights, on which Qantas codeshares and will continue to do so, but with a detour via Auckland in each direction.

From October 27 2019, three of LATAM's seven weekly Sydney-Santiago flights will move to non-stop services, with the remaining flights continuing via Auckland. LATAM also flies non-stop from Melbourne to Santiago up to five times per week.

Santiago is a major South American hub for LATAM, from which Qantas passengers can connect onto a variety of codeshare flights to places such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, Lima in Peru, and more.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

So CASA said yes ? Have I missed something ?

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 53

CASA now has provisions for these longer twin operations under its Extended diversion time operations (EDTO) framework.

I'm assuming Qantas has applied for the for the EDTO in regards to the 789s, and CASA has given them an approval for a maximum time from a diversion. When the flight are loaded into the timetables, I'll think we'll find out how close to the 330 minute limit CASA has allow.

24 Oct 2018

Total posts 3

As much as I will miss the 747s for nostalgia reasons this is a great decision and a pleasant hint of things to come


28 Jul 2013

Total posts 27

Roll on 787 for JNB

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 952

So this would leave HND, JNB, SYD-SFO and the seasonal YVR flights with 747s?

No delivery dates have been announced for the next QF 787s yet. The next 3 have line numbers assigned, but haven't started construction (LN921 [VH-ZNI], LN929 [VH-ZNJ] and LN941 [VH-ZNK]. LN913 and 914 have just entered the assembly line. odd numbered LNs are for Everett, even at Charleston).

I would expect that they'll want to replace the HND 747 with 2 787s, either sending 1 to NRT or hoping for another HND slot assignment to Australia.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 445

This must accounts for the next six 787s with Chicago and san Francisco using three is so and Santiago another three. Silly Perth being difficult over Paris.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 952

SCL doesn't need 3. In order to be daily, the 11-14 hour each way flights only need 2 aircraft.

2 787s for SCL, and 1 more for something else (assuming no other 787 option conversion).

They can also move 787s back off HKG, assuming they still have A330s available to put back on those flights.

17 Jul 2018

Total posts 3

Looking at flight availability, Tuesday 23 June 2020 will be the swansong for the 747 to Santiago with QF27 changing to 787 on 24 June 2020 for QF27/28 rotation


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 445


It wil be tight with the six they have and they can juggle frequnies with the other one. There wil be an order for another few for late 2020 early 2021 delivery to plug all the 747 gaps (Jo'burg?) and allow for a possible Paris. Also they may start thinking 78-10s to replace the A333s from 2022.

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