Aug 29, 2017

Qantas hints at new routes for Brisbane Dreamliner 787-9 base

Brisbane gets a boost from second Qantas 787 base as competing airlines left guessing which routes they will fly

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Dreamliner livery detail from a Qantas image of its 787-9s

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.

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17 thoughts on “Qantas hints at new routes for Brisbane Dreamliner 787-9 base

  1. patrick kilby

    Even though it mentioned those North American routes it still may be a Europe via Perth (my guess Paris) as the QF international termminal in Perth will require some more business, as the hub would work well there.

    1. ghostwhowalksnz

      a new route like that requires big bucks for marketing and Europe is plenty well served by airlines anyway. Brisbane -Paris would be impossible.
      The growth is existing routes to US, maybe Vancouver but the growth is to Asia.
      Qantas is very revenue focused, roues longing for Paris arent amoung the target market.

      1. patrick kilby

        Ghost you are may be right but not sure Bris-Paris via Perth. A ot of East Coast passengers would like that option. There may need to be some domestic passeneger on Bris-Perth. The other option is Frankfurt. They would not have such a Premium heavy low seat number plane on Asia. That will come with higher seat numbers and maybe 78-10s.

        1. patrick kilby

          In addition Ghost Paris is certainly in the QF target market as it and Frankfurt are the major business centres in Europe, and ripe for a premium heavy plane long distance flight.

      2. michael r james

        roues longing for Paris arent amoung the target market.

        No, we don’t use QF at all, preferring CX via a stopover at HK. Or maybe via Singapore. But not via the ME, nor ever a 22+h non-stop and especially not via a completely superfluous trip to Perth! (Though apparently WA is the biggest supplier of escargot and truffles imported into France!)

        I would suggest another strategy that QF could consider is flying into a place that is a HSR hub. Of course Paris-CDG is that but Marseilles or Montpellier would allow TGV connection to the north such as Lyon or Geneva, south to Barcelona, Madrid and Seville; soon enough east to Italy and Switzerland. And of course Paris then points deeper into Europe–Brussels, Amsterdam, etc. Of course if you are a masochist you could even choose to go to London but we roués stick to this side of la manche where the more sophisticated diversions lie and there are fewer chavs and bogans …

        1. Jacob HSR

          There is actually a HSR station under AMS airport!

          And there are plans to have trains going from AMS station to London. If QF flies from SYD to AMS instead of LHR, the journey would be 362 km shorter – saving hundreds of km of jet fuel. You would also be in the air for 30 mins less.

          3 hours 50 mins to go from Amsterdam Centraal to London. So the journey from AMS airport to St Pancras is probably 3 hours 35 mins. Not too bad considering that the train can have full speed WiFi, full speed showers, full pressure air (not high altitude low pressure, low humidity air). And not everyone’s final destination is England. Some are headed to Brussels, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Paris.

  2. Jacob HSR

    So they are going to fly LAX – MEL – PER – LHR?

    Good luck with that. How does carrying people (destined for England) from MEL to PER make it more viable?

    The airframe would be larger to carry more fuel for the 14,500 km journey but then that would make the airframe less viable for carrying domestic passengers between MEL and PER. You can fly from MEL to SGN to HAN to LHR but the SGN to HAN leg is done in an Airbus – not the 787.

    Are fuel stops illegal now? If not, poms in MEL can fill a plane, have a fuel stop in Asia, and take off again to land in England.

    1. patrick kilby

      Jacob, a quick look at current bookings and price points suggest people prefer the stop in Perth than in Dubai, and I for one will prefer the single stop to Canberra coming back. I am not the only one who prefers the Dallas direct flight, much the same distance as Perth London. I think the question is where is the second stop in Europe is. It may well be that if the LAX-NYC is in the mix so the Paris option may not be possible, hence an Asian side trip.

      1. Jacob HSR

        Not sure what you mean. Do you reside in ACT?

        If so, yes, you could potentially fly CBR – PER – LHR. Or you can go via SIN. Granted, SQ does not fly daily from CBR to SIN.

        With regards to your point about ticket prices, I have no idea why people fly Qantas. Not quicker (from SYD to LHR) nor cheaper than British Airways. $2646 vs $3193. (6 Jul return 13 Jul).

        So maybe enough Poms in MEL will fly to LHR via PER instead of SIN. And pay $1000 extra for the privilege.

        1. patrick kilby

          Jacob the Canberra Perth London has a bad connection but coming back it is perfect.

  3. chris turnbull

    I’ve wondered aloud a few times before as to how the 789 is a 747 replacement for Brisbane – LAX and my only conclusion is double daily . That soaks up the four aircraft for now .

  4. [email protected]

    If a Brisbane – LAX double daily service soaks up 4 aircraft, surely the Melbourne base is going to be overtaxed trying to service LHR – PER – MEL – LAX with just four 787s?

    1. chris turnbull

      No. The 747 from Brisbane presently does the Los Angeles- New York flight as well – which will be replaced by the 789.

    2. patrick kilby

      Endeavour, not sure the four will be overtaxed as the timetable is already out. They like the A380s will be worked hard, and Chris double daily Bris to Lax would add another hundred seats. They may do Bris Chicago instead with Syd Mel connecting passengers, avoiding LAX but having to endure a bus in Brisbane. We shall see. The timetable should be out soon so the tickets can go on sale a year out.

      1. chris turnbull

        You may be right. Conversely a single daily service withdraws 100 odd seats. Load factors couldn’t be that bad could they? I guess we’ll see soon enough . I’ve been wrong before I can be wrong again !

  5. Goat Guy

    Seattle would be interesting. Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing all based there and an increasing presence with Google and Salesforce. Easy connection to Canada for BC skiing.

    1. Arcanum

      I’m surprised Qantas doesn’t fly to Seattle already. It’s the main hub for their partner Alaska Airlines, so there’d be opportunities for connecting traffic to much of the western US and Canada. I’m sure passengers would prefer the Seattle/Alaska experience over LA/American as well.

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