Qantas to fly Boeing 787-9 non-stop to Paris (but not until 2020)

By David Flynn, October 17 2017
Qantas to fly Boeing 787-9 non-stop to Paris (but not until 2020)

Qantas intends to launch non-stop daily Boeing 787 flights between Perth and Paris as the second part of its direct-to-Europe network

But don't rush out to buy your tickets – the Paris-bound Dreamliner (or should be be Seineliner?) won't take off until around 2020 and hinges on the airline purchasing a second tranche of the advanced jets, beyond the eight already signed up.

"For the first time we have daily rights for Paris," Alan Joyce told Australian Business Traveller in Seattle on the sidelines of the delivery ceremony for the first red-tailed Dreamliner.

"Last time we were in Paris we only could do three days a week, which made it sub-economical and meant that we weren’t attracting the business market, but now that has changed."

Joyce expects to see a third non-stop flight into Germany, with Frankfurt – which the airline previously flew via Singapore before axing the route in 2013 – sitting on the shortlist.

"Germany is still a big market and it's been hard for us in the past when we were flying through a hub, so the opportunity there is  actually quite real."

The next Dreamliners a few years away

However, no new Boeing 787 routes can be entertained unless the airline takes up more of its 45 'orders and options' for the fuel-efficient jets.

"The first eight aircraft are already allocated, so Paris would have to come from number nine or after," Joyce noted.

Joyce said that the airline would look at ordering more Dreamliners from 2018 but "there will be a gap" between signing on the dotted line and being handed over the keys.

"Next year we’ll have to start making calls (and) there are some that come available from the end of 2019 to 2020."

"We do need to bed down the (Boeing 787) operation, we want to to demonstrate to the market and our shareholders that these 787s are making economic sense and we can make a good profit and return (from them)."

"And we're keen on building up our new western hub our of Perth and over time we obviously have to demonstrate we can make money out of Perth-London and that this aircraft performs well on that route."

Those new Dreamliners could then fly Melbourne-Perth-Paris or Brisbane-Perth-Paris, depending on which east coast city the new aircraft are based in.

Joyce said Qantas could also open a new Boeing 787 base in Sydney to start Sydney-Perth-Paris flights.

"What it comes down to is that we're looking for state governments and airports to be supportive of us, because we know these services are good for the states and good for the airports."

"The great thing about Brisbane and Melbourne and Perth is that the governments got behind that and made it happen. Hopefully when we're looking at further aircraft we'll the same co-operation from Sydney for those aircraft to be based there."

David Flynn is visiting Seattle as a guest of Qantas and Boeing.


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.

27 Apr 2017

Total posts 40

As the article notes, a lot hinges on the success of PER-LHR flights.

With QF moving back to SIN, which is a much more logical stop over point than PER for most East Coast flyers, there is a real risk that PER might flop. (I'm not saying it is likely, but the risk certainly is there.) It will be interesting to see what QF does if customers are uninterested in PER-based European flights.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 353

I agree with you, it looks good on paper but many people don't want to spend 17-18 hours + in an aircraft. We are flying back mid 2018 to London in business and I have opted for BNE-SIN-LHR even though QF will have the dated product on QF1, we prefer Singapore as a stopover point plus 14 hours is much easier than 17-18 hours via Perth.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Aug 2012

Total posts 171

I think the Perth leg will be a winner. Time will tell however.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 142

Totally agree! 789 is not designed for long haul comfort, only for economics. SIN will be the winner for 1 stop flights to Europe from AU's east coast. PER is only a marketing tool for the non-stop kangaroo route, and once that dies down, logic will return. Simple rules apply - and gimmicks come and go.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 365

I agree. Personally I can't see myself transiting in PER as it won't be as seamless as transiting in SIN or DXB. Mainly because PER will be the port for exiting and entering the country. Meaning:

1. For outbound: Need to pass through passport control as well as the usual security check in PER. It isn't likely to be pleasant after 4-5 connecting flight from SYD/MEL/BNE.
2. For inbound: probably worse as you need to pass through not only passport and security check, you need to collect luggage to clear custom/quarantine. It'll b very unpleasant after a 16-17 hour flight.
Qantas has to address those 2 issues to make it competitive. If somehow they can make the SYD/MEL/BNE sector as an international flight like what QF8 used to do with BNE-SYD, ie you go through immigration and custom in your home port, that may make it work.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 146

I disagree @Michael. I would much rather go through PER as it would allow me to check in for my trek to LHR around 45mins before departure. The experience in PER *should* be seamless as its in the same terminal and (hopefully) well designed solely for QF transfers between Int-Dom or VV.

As for arriving, a dedicated customs and immigration clearance at PER then arriving at SYD/MEL/BNE as a domestic passenger (bypassing MEL/SYD customs/immigration) and breezing out after 22hrs travelling sounds very appealing to me indeed.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 214

It should be seamless as they are currently building the international facilities at Perth t3. Perth passengers will go through formalities, Melbourne passengers will go to the lounge then back on the far as I'm aware

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 365

What about SYD/BNE pax? They'll have to go through passport control like PER pax as well.

Although, this is possible when more EU destinations are open. On top of MEL-PER-LHR, they can do BNE-PER-CDG and SYD-PER-FRA with all these flights considered international from the start so you clear immigration and custom in your home port. As long as departure times are similar, you can mix and match.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1257

If you are Sydney based, these are all things you will do anyway.

If you fly SYD-SIN-LHR, you clear customs and security in SYD. You will then go through security in SIN.

If you fly SYD-PER-LHR, you go through security in Sydney. You will then go through customs and security in PER.

On the way back:

LHR-SIN-SYD you go through security in SIN. Then customs in SYD.

LHR-PER-SYD. You go through customs and security in PER. Arrive in SYD as a domestic passenger (closer to the CBD).

There are pro's and cons with both. But no more or less interactions with either. But noting, if you clear customs in PER, you will doing so only with Qantas customers. That surely should be quicker than morning peak hour in SYD.

In the fullness of time, I see QF flying MEL-PER-LHR, BNE-PER-CDG and SYD-PER-FRA; with the PER stops coordinated.

That would mean BNE, SYD and MEL pax would do customs in their home port and not PER. Only other cities (eg ADL, CBR) would have to do the DOM-INT-DOM transfers.

Having said that, I would prefer to do customs in PER which would save time at the East coast port - particularly on the inbound flight.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 387

It will be interesting to see how many Qantas can order next year for FY2020/21.

if they can afford 6 over two FY years some awesome expansion can take place.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 387

I mean 12 over 2 FY years.


03 May 2013

Total posts 657

What about the mystery of converted Airbus orders in lieu of 8 A380's not being taken up - 10 x A350? (20 x A320/1/'s NEOS even?)

16 Feb 2016

Total posts 30

Now that Airbus has bought C series perhaps they could be used as a replacement for 717s. CS300 would look well in QF colours...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 306

Is it me? Or does QF like to always announce things way ahead and play up the PR spin? Ie new seats, new routes, new aircraft... always seems like a longer lag time than other airlines..

VA Platinum

21 Nov 2013

Total posts 20

It's not just you, but it does seem to be working as everybody is talking about them!


04 Apr 2014

Total posts 205

Not just you. But then many of the airlines do the same. It's a but hard to spring an Apple when the planes are in clear view on the line months before going into service

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 306

Singapore Airlines seems to do a pretty good job at keeping things under wraps until a product is released. Like their new A380 seating and configuration. I just wish QF would announce once things are in fuition, rather than announce something years ahead when so many things are still uncertain.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1141

Good to see Qantas participating in the age-old Australian business tactic of government rent-seeking. It will fly the 787 out of Sydney if the NSW government coughs up some bucks..... seriously if there's a business case do it, if not don't but stop asking taxpayers to cover your costs.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2016

Total posts 109

Awesome! I think that means that a second 787 order will be coming soon...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 387

most likely announced at next years full year FY results day

13 Mar 2014

Total posts 27

Am liking all these drip feeds coming out of David's time with Qantas and Boeing in Seattle. Although, as many others have noted here and elsewhere, most of this is PR rather than anything concrete.

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 114

so if 4 787s are based in Brisbane and they are doing the daily BNE-LAX-JFK run, what will the other 2 be doing? Is this the mooted other port in the US?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 387

yes thats true, either Dallas, Chicago or Seattle.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 43

Chicage would be a game changer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 43

Chicago* sorry...


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1446

I saw that AJ has sort of confirmed Chicago with the AFR.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Dec 2016

Total posts 18

It would be Rêveliner

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 387

if the American Airlines JV gets approval could we see the 787 MEL-LAX get moved to DFW?

I currently travel frequently from Perth to Sydney transitting for international flights to north and south america and this is standard practice- works seamlessly so nothing to be concerned about. Head office for me is in Paris so this is definitely an exciting prospect- non stop Perth to Paris- couldnt be happier!

04 May 2016

Total posts 34

Last time I flew into CDG with QF it was MEL-SIN-FRA-CDG in the early 1990's on a 747. I can't see daily demand for a 17-hour PER-CDG, but who knows.

28 Sep 2017

Total posts 8

I'm surprised that so many people aren't bothered by the length of these ULH flights. I'd gladly give up a weekend to stop somewhere and rest. I don't care what class of service you're in, 18+ hours straight on an airplane sucks!!


SilkAir - KrisFlyer

28 Mar 2017

Total posts 18

Clearly as a F flyer from MEL to CDG and LHR, I am not the target demographic for QF.

06 Dec 2014

Total posts 28

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Dec 2016

Total posts 31

Loving how Qantas is thinking about Perth again


03 Oct 2013

Total posts 1

I live in BNE, and a BNE-PER-CDG would be very appealing, particularly because:

* when I fly to Europe, UK is not usually my final destination. I hate transiting at LHR which tends to have the longest security queues and delays; transit at CDG would be much more preferable
* I am a dual Australian-EU citizen. With the UK leaving the EU, I would prefer to be touching down in the EU.
* I prefer the long PER-Europe flight rather than connecting at DXB because late departures from point of departure in either direction has led to missed connections in DXB resulting in a 24-hour unplanned stopover in Dubai. I'd rather spend the time at point of departure.
* Hoping for some nice French wines and cheese on the CDG flights!

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1042

Without a new air service agreement, Australia doesn't have daily rights to mainland france when using the current or proposed aircraft.

Mainland France rights are 'units' which are based on seating capacity of aircraft used. 747/A380 sized aircraft are allowed 3 flights/week under the current agreement.
The QF 787 seat plan would allow 6 flights to France each week.

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