Qantas pulls Boeing 747 off Singapore flights

By David Flynn, April 23 2014
Qantas pulls Boeing 747 off Singapore flights

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.

Read: Qantas culls fleet – Boeing 767s, 747 jumbos to go, Airbus 380s & Boeing 787s deferred

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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David

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.

22 Jun 2013

Total posts 98

What a waste of money and valuable capital to have updated the 747s to the A380 interior not so long ago if it was only going to be around for a few years...

AlG
AlG

04 Nov 2010

Total posts 674

It's the six 747s which haven't been upgraded to the A380 spec which are being dropped, Trevor. The upgraded ones are staying.

22 Jun 2013

Total posts 98

I see. Thanks for clarifying! I stand corrected

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

only 5 unrefurbed  now...and i think at least 2 of those will be retired by the end of 2014..and then the a330 refurbs will be coming online from DEC 2014..with 1-2 being refurbed every month thereafter..but yes there will be a 'gap' of 6months between 'old' a330 and 'new' a330 appearing on these routes

also the 9 (refurbeda380basedinteriors) are going to be around for at least another 7yrs (conservatively)...hardly a waste of 'valuable capital' to refurb those aircraft...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Mar 2014

Total posts 73

So where will the refirb SIN 747 end up? JNB, SCL, LAX, NYC and DFW are all running the updated 747 aren't they and I think they want to keep the 4 class HKG plane running so is it just NRT that is using the old 747 at this stage? Is that the route that will retire it's old plane and receive the one that's taken off BNE-SIN?

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

currently JNB uses mostly an unrefurb (4class- but dont offer F/C fares..they usually seat 'higher staus' J/C pax in the 'old' F/C cabin)....

LAX still sees the use of an unrefurb (4class) occassionally (usually on the QF107-which doesnt offer F/C)..so maybe they will plug that gap in 'product' with the refurb...so that ALL AUS-US  747 services have a consistent a380style product

 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Mar 2014

Total posts 73

That will be good, I did QF 15/16 and 107 last year all on updated planes but then 108 was on an older aircraft with skybed I. It was a little disapointing considering I only came back via SYD as I wasn't in a rush and wanted to check out the TBIT lounge instead of T4.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

SYD-JNB, SYD-LAX-NYC, SYD-DFW-BNE-SYD and BNE-LAX all require two aircraft each - that's eight frames. SCL uses one frame, going up to nine frames.

It's worth remembering that the 744 on BNE-SIN comes in from LAX.

It's a bit of a puzzle, but if NRT gets a refurbished frame that would be good.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

If the spare A380 gets redeployed in the place of a USA route, that would free up a 747 for NRT. If it was retimed, it could get close to doing NRT on a single 747 (though would be tight). If the 380 gets pulled off HKG then that opens up more options.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

It would need to be nested with another diagram to do NRT with only one 744, because while it's possible to it in a single day with a two-hour turn at NRT, you still don't have enough maintenance downtime in SYD, given it's daily.

I'm also inclined to think that if QFi can retain overnight both ways they will. With Aerolineas withdrawing from SYD, perhaps the old slopers will be deemed okay for SCL?

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

If QF chooses to move away from a 747 at NRT, Id think its more likely that QF will leave the refurb planes on SCL and service NRT with A330's.

09 Nov 2011

Total posts 88

Oh well - the 747 has been retired by most airlines completely by now and replaced by 777's, but oops Qantas doesn't have any of those. The refurbs will be around for another 7 years - don't know if that is going to help QF's fuel bill. So let's see how that will look. In 7 years all of Qantas' competitors will have shiney new 777-8's and 9's or A380 / 787 / A350 services and Qantas will still be flying A330's and 747's. I suppose there will be many more Jetstar 787's if you want a bit of modern when you fly QF/Jetstar.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

Don't think any 777-8's or 9's will be flying anytime soon :-p

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

If they get 789s then we can talk.

If.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 294

Was waiting to see how long it would be before someone mentioned Qantas not having any B777.  It's a valid comment, but I still laugh when it comes up again.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jun 2013

Total posts 28

Shame they don't have a 3-class fitout of the A330 with Premium Economy. The sweet price point for most of my personal travel. Also makes it easier points-wise to upgrade to Business. I enjoyed seat 3A on the old 4-class cabin a month ago :)

I guess they are counting on the fact that Singapore Airlines don't have it on their planes either unlike CA to Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

I agree. The BNE - HKG and MEL - HKG routes don't compete against Cathay in Premium Economy, since they don't have Premium Economy...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

The A330s need a refurbishment desperately.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

Sadly they ain't going to come quicker

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

No matter how much I go on about it, huh? :P

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

If we somehow manage to take over Qantas management, then they will be completed as a priority... amongst other things.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

With this plus the SQ move has anyone calculated what this is going to do to total capacity from Australia to Singapore? Seems like a sudden major drop.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

I'm not inclined to crunch all the numbers just yet, but I don't think the drop is as great as we think, especially given both SYD and MEL are 4x daily on SQ.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 169

Sad to see more 747's leave the fleet but understand the reasons why. I enjoyed upper deck a few times to Singapore on QF5. I hope that they have a refurbed 747 on the LAX route, its a long haul on a angled lie flat bed.

10 Aug 2013

Total posts 30

This is really dissapointing for Brisbane, the refurbished 747 was one of the best products available on the route in Business (and in some cases economy). Looks Etihad is getting my business from now on, works well for me anyway since etihad is a Virgin partner.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

Apart from the rubbish timing on QF 52, it was massive pwnage, with fully-flat beds in J, a proper W, and a new Y.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Who the hell says "massive pwnage"?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1139

Just saw one last week when I was flying through SIN.  A beautiful sight and one that will be missed.


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