Qantas has named Brisbane as the second base for its initial tranche of eight 787-9s, hosting the four Dreamliners not already assigned to a Melbourne base.
Its group CEO, Alan Joyce, said “Each aircraft we base in Brisbane brings new jobs. One hundred and twenty of our Dreamliner cabin crew and pilots will be based in the city, with many choosing to settle in the state. A further 350 indirect jobs are expected to be created as a result.
“We’ve said that initially our Dreamliners will replace the routes that our older 747 fly but there are also new destinations we are looking at given the capability of the aircraft. A range of exciting options is on the table that will help drive tourism to the state and we look forward to making that decision in coming months.”
From Brisbane a 787-9 could fly non-stop with commercially attractive payloads to Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, Vancouver and numerous established or potential destinations in China and the even wider Asia hemisphere. The reference to the specific cities in North America was contained in the Qantas statement.
Qantas’s first four in its fleet of eight Dreamliners would be based in Melbourne, serving the Melbourne – Los Angeles route from December 2017 and the Melbourne – London (via Perth) route from March 2018. This is the world’s first service to link Australia directly with the UK.
Qantas will take delivery of its first Dreamliner in October 2017 with the 787-9 operating on domestic sectors for six weeks for crew training and familiarisation before its first scheduled Melbourne – Los Angeles service on 15 December 2017.
Today’s announcement adds to the growing interest of foreign carriers in building up a Brisbane presence, with Singapore Airlines recently announcing it will link Singapore with the SEQ hub three times daily with Airbus A350s this coming summer.
It also underscores the Qantas advantage over Virgin Australia, which has no spare or new capacity in sight for additional wide-body services from Queensland to overseas points.