Qantas will launch daily flights on its Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth service (flights QF7 and QF8) from July 1st, using overhauled Boeing 747-400s fitted with A380-style seats, including fully-flat Skybed II seat-beds in business class and Recaro seats in premium economy.
That's a consistency which business travellers want, and one which Australian Business Traveller first flagged back in August.
"As the only direct service from Australia beyond the US west coast, it gives Australians access to the country’s fourth-largest metropolitan economy" said Group Executive Qantas Airlines Commercial, Rob Gurney.
"As a perfectly located hub airport less than four hours from every major US city, DFW offers outstanding onward connections for business and leisure travellers."
And while the likelihood of an Airbus A380 taking on the Sydney-Dallas route has previously been flagged by Qantas, last week's decision by the Red Roo to delay the delivery of its next two A380 superjumbos by almost four years – pushing out their arrival from early next year to the 2016-17 financial year – is likely to see the upgraded Boeing 747-400s remain on this route for some years.
Qantas has also earmarked the 15+ hour, 13,800km direct trek from Sydney to Dallas as one of the launch routes for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
“We’ve already seen how good Dallas is with the 747” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce observed last year. “Imagine how good it will be with the 787 on that network.”
Qantas is still hazy over the arrival date of its first 787s, which Joyce described as “hopefully 2015 onwards” – although the airline has previously described the timetable as being in the 2015-2016 timeframe.
“The 787 is a real game-changer” a delighted and upbeat Joyce told Australian Business Traveller during the Dreamliner's Sydney visit. “It’s a magnificent aircraft and it was worth the wait.”
In addition to replacing the aging Boeing 747s, Joyce said the 787 “gives us the extra range to open up new direct routes that we can’t service today”, on top of “more frequencies and more destinations in Asia.”
To help kick-start the daily SYD-DFW services, Qantas is now offering special return fares for travel from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane of $3,335 for premium economy (for departures between 24 July and 7 September 2012) and $6,654 for business class (for year-round travel with a 50-day advance purchase).