Qantas to Replace 747 With 787-9 for Flights to Los Angeles, New York
With Delta and United set to retire the last of their 747s by the end of the year, the only Jumbo Jets serving the US will be with overseas airlines. Sadly, we are about to lose one of these surviving 747s.
Currently, Qantas runs a 747 route from Brisbane (BNE) to Los Angeles (LAX), with the same aircraft continuing onward from LAX to New York (JFK), before returning on the same route to LAX and BNE. But Qantas is phasing out its 747s, and we learned Monday that on this route, the Queen of the Skies will be replaced with a 787-9 "by the end of 2018," the airline said.
This route will become Qantas' third international connection with the 787-9. The airline is taking delivery of its first 787 Monday in Seattle, and plans to introduce it first to domestic routes for crew familiarization. The first international route will be Melbourne (MEL)-Los Angeles beginning December 15. That will be followed by the newest longest route in the world: Perth (PER)-London (LHR) starting March 24, 2018.
This new announcement means two of the first three Qantas 787-9 routes will be to the United States. But, Qantas doesn't plan to stop there. Wanting to maximize its new super-efficient long-range aircraft, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce teased: "In addition we want to fly somewhere new in the States – that could be Seattle, it could be Chicago, it could be Dallas."
Seattle and Chicago would be fascinating new route possibilities, but it's peculiar that Joyce mentions Dallas. Qantas already operates daily flights from Sydney (SYD) to Dallas (DFW) using a massive 484-seat Airbus A380. It'd be interesting to see if Qantas were to launch another route to Dallas, headquarters of its alliance partner American Airlines. However, rumors have been swirling that Qantas might launch a route from Brisbane to Dallas.
Unfortunately though, the nonstop flight Qantas wants from Australia to New York City will have to wait for a new, even longer-range aircraft.