It's a case of 'Boeing, Boeing, gone' as Qantas begins removing the Boeing 747 jumbo jet from all Singapore flights.
Brisbane's daily service to Singapore will switch from the Boeing 747 to the smaller Airbus A330 from May 12, taking with it the jumbo jet's option of premium economy seating in favour of the A330's two-class cabin of business and economy.
Things don’t get better at the pointy end of the plane, as the A330s feature older business class seats which recline only to an 'angled lie-flat' position rather than stretch out to a fully flat bed.
Qantas has pledged to replace the A330’s ‘sloping sleepers’ with its impressive new lie-flat Business Suite towards the end of this year, although upgrading the airline's 30-strong fleet with the new seats is estimated to take until mid-2016.
Sydney will see its own Boeing 747 flights to Singapore shuttered on October 1, again with a two-class Airbus A330 as the replacement aircraft.
Although Qantas is offering some Brisbane-Singapore travellers booked into the Boeing 747's premium economy seats the opportunity to upgrade to business class for $500 each way, the airline currently lists no such provision for Sydney-Singapore flyers.
Qantas plans to retire six Boeing 747 jets over the next two years as part of an aggressive $2 billion cost-saving campaign which will weed out older fuel-thirsty aircraft as well as delay orders for new aircraft.
A Qantas spokeswoman confirmed that the Boeing 747 being pulled off the Sydney-Singapore route is one of those six being put out to pasture, adding that the aircraft changes are also intended "to better match capacity to demand."
Qantas will also axe its Perth-Singapore service – the Flying Kangaroo's last international route from the WA capital – on May 12.
The Singapore cutbacks come as Singapore Airlines downsizes its Sydney and Melbourne flights, pulling its flagship Airbus A380 superjumbo from one flight a day for each city in exchange for a Boeing 777-300ER with some 190 fewer seats and lacking the superjumbo's deluxe private first class suites.
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