Qantas drops Boeing 747s from LAX, trims Dallas A380 flights

By David Flynn, April 24 2018

  • All Qantas Los Angeles services shift to Airbus A380 or Boeing 787-9
  • Sydney-Dallas superjumbo drops to six days a week
  • Sydney-San Francisco goes daily

A redraw of Qantas' international network sees the ageing Boeing 747  move closer to retirement with all jumbo jets pulled from flights to Los Angeles as of December 2018, in favour of the Airbus A380 superjumbo and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

From 4 December, Tuesday's Sydney-Los Angeles Boeing 747 service (QF11/QF12) will be replaced by an Airbus A380, which will complete the roster of daily superjumbos to Los Angeles from both Sydney and Melbourne

The seasonal twice-weekly Sydney-Los Angeles service (QF17/QF18) will also be flown by an A380 during the December 2018 to January 2019 peak

As previously announced, Brisbane-Los Angeles and the Los Angeles-New York route shared by Sydney and Melbourne travellers will shift to a Boeing 787-9 as of 1 September 2018 (this is also the kick-off date for the new Melbourne-San Francisco Boeing 787 service).

Also, starting 4 February 2019, the now-daily Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth Airbus A380 service (QF7/QF8) will be cut to six times per week.

However, from 17 December the Sydney-San Francisco (QF73/QF74) Boeing 747 flight will toggle to become a daily service.

Also following through from the Roo's reshuffle announced this morning:

  • from 7 December 2018 to late April 2019 the Sydney-Honolulu service (QF3/QF4) will switch from an Airbus A330-300 to a Boeing 747. That means more seats and the option of premium economy on the popular leisure route, but sees business class drop from the latest Business Suite design to the older Skybed seats.
  • Sydney-Manila (QF19/QF20) will become a daily Airbus A330 service from 28 October
  • Sydney-Osaka (QF33/QF34) will tick up to four flight a week from 7 December
  • Sydney-Beijing (QF107/QF108) drops to five times per week from 28 October, "removing flights on lower demand days of Tuesday and Thursday" according to Qantas.

Tickets for all new services are expected to progressively become available from today.

reeves35

reeves35

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 553

These changes make sense.

The introduction of 789 on BNE-LAX-JFK has been known for a long time.

A 744 on SYD-HNL is sensible. Though J class goes to a Skybed, this is unlikely to be an issue given most travellers are leisure based as side-by-side seating by couples is probably preferred to 1-2-1 anyway. It does signal the end of the RR powered 744s which will now be pretty much restricted to >10 hours flights to HKG and HNL until they are retired in the next couple of years. SCL and JNB will be the main destinations of the longer range ERs.

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 527

These changes make a lot of sense. Would have been nice for some new 747 aircraft to have been ordered but as that hasn't happened the switch to 787 needs to continue.

I wonder what will happen to MEL-SFO once SYD-SFO switches to 787 presumably eventually? Maybe MEL-SFO will go daily as well.


Or maybe SYD-SFO would get an A380 once SYD-LHR switches to a direct non-stop service.

mcglynp

mcglynp

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jan 2016

Total posts 61

Surprised at the 744 on SYD-HNL. Though it is very welcome. I do wonder how QF will price premium economy versus their Jetstar j Class.

AJW

AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 511

But if a punt here but seeing as the change is temporary could that be the window in which the last 2 A330’s are converted to the ‘new’ seat.

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 527

Presumably SYD-HNL flights will eventually switch to the 787 as well (at least seasonally). But there's not enough QF 787 aircraft yet to do that.

reeves35

reeves35

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 553

I would think that once the 744s go away, it would revert to A330s. Unless there is significant demand for W class, which is probably unknown at the moment, the A330 is ideally suited to this route.

AJW

AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 511

And too few economy class seats.

patrickk

patrickk

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 405

I don't think they will base 787s in Sydney for a while. They will build up the Melb and Bris bases first until the last of the 747s go in 2022 or so.

brisflyer

brisflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Aug 2016

Total posts 14

The announcement says that all LA services will switch to A380 or 787 and then in the announcement it goes onto specific routes. It was previously announced that from 1 September, Brisbane would have a daily 787 and 3 times a week 747 to LA. There doesn't seem to be any mention of what will replace the 747 between Brisbane and LA. If it is not being replaced, it would be a significant reduction in capacity on this route.

brisflyer

brisflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Aug 2016

Total posts 14

Ignore my previous post. I see there was a previous announcement the 3 a week 747 would revert to Dreamliner from December 2018.

hutch

hutch

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1228

Also previously reported on Ausbt:

Until December 2018, the daily Brisbane – Los Angeles Dreamliner will be complemented by “up to three weekly Boeing 747 flights to meet seasonal demand,” Qantas says.


Once Qantas’ eighth Dreamliner has been delivered by the end of 2018, those jumbo jets will be replaced by a second year-round Dreamliner service running four times a week – specifically Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday out of Brisbane.


Ozmichel

Ozmichel

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 11

Also, starting 4 February 2019, the now-daily Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth Airbus A380 service (QF7/QF8) will be cut to six times per week.

Any idea what day is the one with no flight?

sanj747

sanj747

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2016

Total posts 88

I think it will be Tuesday as the 747 used on the QF 11 SYD-LAX route is now an A380.

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 931

Tuesday is also the day there was no flight to DFW when the A380 was first put on the route.

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 931

Tuesday.

The reason the DFW flights are daily with A380s now is because of the Tuesday 747 on QF11/12. Due to the time of the SYD-DFW-SYD rotation, there isn't quite enough aircraft to be daily (the timetable requires 2.1 aircraft for daily flights).
In order to keep it daily, they would need to move QF7 forward 2-3 hours so that the aircraft doesn't spend 8ish hours sitting at DFW between flights.

Dan22

Dan22

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 55

Strategy behind this rostering as Tuesday’s and mid week are generally in lower demand. Any staff travellers will know this also!

GregXL

GregXL

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 401

The current timetable requires about 6 hours less than 2 days to complete a QF7/8 cycle, so I don’t see that it requires more than 2 aircraft. There must be some other reason for the weekly QF 11 747.

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 931

hmmm reducing PEK and swapping out HNL to 744s frees up some 330s for the KIX and MNL increases.

I guess the next question is how long they keep HND with the overnight in both directions, thus requiring 2 747s and what happens with the 747 for the seasonal YVR.

Maybe after some time running the (yet to be confirmed) A330 PER-JNB, CASA might finally allow twin ops for the southern routes for SYD-JNB/SCL (and then 787s on those routes in a few years once they swap more options over to firm orders)

Dan22

Dan22

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 55

Does CASA not already allow this twin ops? I know LATAM fly their Dreamliner direct to Melb. They must allow South African and Air Mauritius to fly to Perth using twin ops - sometimes it’s a340s, sometimes it’s a332s.

Timmy22bc

Timmy22bc

18 Oct 2015

Total posts 34

It was discussed in the LATAM

MEL - SCL comments that (if I recall correctly). CASA has no influence on overseas airlines hence why LATAM could do the polar MEL - SCL

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 931

CASA doesn't regulate LATAM, SAA or Air Mauritius.

ETOPS requires both type certification, which generally comes during the aircraft testing period, and operator certification.
The A330 has 240 type certification.
The 787 has 330 type certification (however the RR equipped aircraft have that reduced while the engine problems are sorted out).
Airlines get their operator certification from the civil aviation regulator in their home country. Thus far, CASA won't approve over 180.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

There are severe limitations as to what times QF can arrive and depart HND, so that may be one factor inhibiting a shorter stay. SYD also has a nightly curfew.

However, existing rotation of QF25/26 is very inefficient. No transport operator - air, rail or road - ideally wants aircraft, locomotives, freight wagons, railcars or trucks sitting around if by tweaking timetables one could achieve greater utilisation.

good67

good67

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Aug 2013

Total posts 4

747 on Melb - HK over Australian summer / Christmas please

kirk7_2002

kirk7_2002

07 Mar 2018

Total posts 1

Hi All,

Does anyone have the exact schedule for A380 for Syd to Hkg?

It seems its on certain days in July and Aug 2018. Cant find any updates on this,.

patrickk

patrickk

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 405

I have just booked on it and it is daily 9.40am Syd HK and 5.50pm return. My booking is for late December.

groags

groags

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Apr 2018

Total posts 3

Does anybody know what QF are planning for QF107/108? I see they dropped two flights from the schedule but does that mean they will drop the old A332’s that they have been promising for a while!

henri9

henri9

24 Apr 2018

Total posts 14

Will this be the end of VHOEB?

The HY investor presentation said that the 4 non-ER 747s are now going to retired by the end of 2019, which is a year longer than had previously been suggested.

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 931

VH-OEB has just left on a Captain's Choice charter trip.

henri9

henri9

24 Apr 2018

Total posts 14

I think the Constellation Journey is a different thing?

But yeah. Struggling to see how QF retains this OEB with the old floor plan.

reno

reno

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 469

A great thing.QF have reduced P & J seats to the US by 40% in the last five years as well as flights.i do not want to here any whinging about you people on this forum not getting your upgrade.

patrickk

patrickk

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 405

Reno the refurbed A380s plus 787s will reverse that trend and increase P&J relative to Economy.

reno

reno

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 469

Look at an originalA380 seat plan for P&J before posting.Then look at the reduced seating,no P and reduced J seats on 787.give me a break.An good luck on your upgrade.

hutch

hutch

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1228

What are you referring to with "P"? If it is Premium Economy, is the new A380 seat plan, not increasing it by a chunk?

In any case, where is this 40% reduction coming from? The 2nd daily SYD - LAX was mothballed when AA entered the market, but that flight effectively moved to SYD-SFO. BNE - LAX will move to a 787, decreasing seats, but is being supplemented with an additional 4 services (plus probably another 3 to an unknown US destination). MEL-LAX remain an A380, with a couple extra 787 services and 4 x weekly SFO services. DFW drops a service a week. JFK losses a chunk of seats, but if anything, the 787 right-sizes the route. And off my memory, HNL has gone daily, whereas years ago it was not. Where is the 40% cut?

patrickk

patrickk

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 405

Reno the new A380 upgrade moves PE from 35 to 60 seats, business from 64 to 70 and economy drops from 371 to 341 with a total overall increase of 1 seat 384 to 385. That seems to me a shift to more P&J

sanj747

sanj747

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2016

Total posts 88

Some positive focus with new and old aircraft for the US market which is huge for QF. Really like the dreamliner from LAX to JFK. Smart move. Weeding out the 747s is only going to help them in the long run. Next will be when they review 747 routes to SFO, HND, JNB, HKG and SCL and make the change as new aircraft comes online. Do feel the changes to these routes are a while away. They did have a 747 leave this week on the captain's choice tour. Doesn't leave many 747s lying around to serve the current routes.

hutch

hutch

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1228

I think QF will be keeping the 6 x 747ER for a while longer.

henri9

henri9

24 Apr 2018

Total posts 14

At least 7 more years for the ER would be my guess, subject to fuel costs increasing.

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 931

Based on when the ERs arrived and how long Qantas normally keeps aircraft around for, the ERs are likely to be around until 2022 at least, likely until 2026.

The ERs are likely to be replaced around the same time as the first batch of 330s.

reno

reno

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 469

Some common sense prevails.ya right keep those 747,s more J seats and May be an upgrade.

crazybenjamin

crazybenjamin

15 Dec 2015

Total posts 21

Interesting. I didn't think there would be this much demand for HNL.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

It says much about QF's ability to compete with mainland Chinese airlines that QF is about to reduce the number of SYD - PEK and return flights.

patrickk

patrickk

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 405

This may pick up with the opening of the new Beijing airport next year with better slot options for Qantas. Also these flights are more aimed at Australian business people, and so may pick up when China Australian relations warm up a bit more.

crazybenjamin

crazybenjamin

15 Dec 2015

Total posts 21

You have to remember that the Chinese tend to prefer Chinese carriers.

Powerledger

Powerledger

01 Mar 2018

Total posts 8

My question is once all the gas guzzling old metal are retired for the new metal will the exorbitant QF fuel surcharges decrease and fares go down.

Neon

Neon

31 Jul 2018

Total posts 8

That would be nice but probably best not to hold our breath :)

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