Almost ten months after announcing that its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet would be the first to fly regularly scheduled commercial non-stop service between Australia and the United Kingdom, Qantas has released more details on the rest of the fleet’s operations. The airline will be splitting its eight-strong fleet between its hubs in Brisbane and Melbourne, and is looking to use the Boeing 787 to expand its Brisbane network.
Qantas’ will receive its first four Boeing 787s starting this October thru mid-2018, which will all be based in Melbourne. The aircraft will be flying the Melbourne-Perth-London route and the Melbourne-Los Angeles, and will be replacing the Airbus A380 on the latter. The final four will be delivered from mid-2018 thru the end of 2018, and will be based in Brisbane. The aircraft will replace the Boeing 747-400 on the Brisbane-Los Angeles route, however, with leftover Boeing 787s, Qantas is reportedly looking to start a new route to North America.
From Brisbane, the aircraft is capable of reaching as far as the Midwestern United States, and the airline is reportedly looking at starting service to destinations such as Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Vancouver. Qantas already operates year-round flights from Sydney to Dallas and seasonal flights between Sydney and Vancouver.
Qantas has dropped many hints in the last few years about beginning service to Chicago — to the point that Australian Business Traveller wrote an entire article about it at the end of 2015 — and announced plans as early as 2002 to operate Chicago flights as a tag-on of its Melbourne-Los Angeles route. Service to Las Vegas and Seattle has not been as publicised, but the routes have been named as possible contenders.
The fleet in Brisbane will reportedly support 470 jobs, including 120 Dreamliner flight and cabin crew positions, as well as a crew base of 350. Qantas has stepped up investment in Brisbane lately, selecting the airport’s maintenance base to house its A330 refurbishment project, as well as a site to install wifi on its Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 fleets.
From Brisbane, Qantas operates intercontinental flights to Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Singapore and Tokyo-Narita, regional international flights to New Caledonia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and a host of domestic flights.
Featured image by Qantas.