As Qantas fine-tunes its international network to meet changes in demand and the competitive landscape, the airline’s fleet of ageing Boeing 747 moves closer to retirement.
With the last Qantas Boeing 747 service to Los Angeles to operate on December 3, the fleet will be replaced with Airbus A380 superjumbo and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
They changes will gradually be brought about on routes to the US, the Philippines, Japan and China that include frequency reductions on Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth and Sydney-Beijing.
“The adjustments to our international network are part of our strategy of making the best use of our fleet and matching demand by having the right aircraft, on the right route, at the right time,’’ Airline Ratings quoted a Qantas spokeswoman.
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.
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).
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.