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Qantas brings forward final Boeing 767 flight, waives change fees

By Chris Chamberlin     Filed under: qantas, Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 767

UPDATE | Qantas' final Boeing 767 flight from Melbourne to Sydney on December 27 will no longer run as the 8pm QF490 service, having been brought forward to the 5pm QF452 flight.

The three-hour change will make for more of a razzle-dazzle arrival into Sydney in the summer daylight hours at 6.25pm, including a water cannon salute to honour the Boeing 767, its crew and passengers as the aircraft approaches the Qantas terminal gates for the last time.

Given that a large number of aviation enthusiasts had already booked QF490 with the specific intention of travelling on the Boeing 767's farewell flight, Qantas is thoughtfully allowing QF490 passengers to rebook onto QF452 at no charge.

In addition, a Qantas spokesperson advised Australian Business Traveller that Qantas flights booked from other cities to Melbourne to connect to the Boeing 767's last hurrah – along with onward flights from Sydney – can also be changed at no cost in conjunction with a swap to QF452 "if their agenda was to be part of Qantas' last commercial Boeing 767 flight."

Those free flight changes can be made until October 19 2014 by calling Qantas on 13 13 13.

PREVIOUS | It’s ‘final call’ for the Boeing 767 fleet as Qantas maps out a retirement plan for its nine remaining aged jets, which are being put out to pasture by the year’s end.

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that QF490 from Melbourne to Sydney on December 27 2014 will be the airline’s last Boeing 767 passenger flight – a fitting send-off for an aircraft that spends most of its time zipping in between the two business capitals.

That’s up to nine months earlier than originally planned and comes as the airline attempts to stem the flowing tide of red ink though an accelerated ‘Qantas transformation program’.

Qantas’ Boeing 767s have already disappeared from international service, with Honolulu (Hawaii) – the last remaining offshore Boeing 767 destination – having switched to newer and more fuel-efficient Airbus A330s from September 14.

The 767 fleet underwent multi-million dollar refurbishments just two years ago, including new charcoal leather seats in business class and iPads for use as inflight entertainment via the wireless Q Streaming system:

Q Streaming can now also be found on selected Boeing 717 flights to Canberra and Hobart, and from next year, on Qantas’ older Boeing 737 aircraft as well.

Hitching one last ride on the Boeing 767

While the Red Roo’s final Boeing 767 flight will run from Melbourne to Sydney, residents in other cities still have one last chance to score a ride on the big bird.

Subject to last-minute aircraft swaps, the Boeing 767s will do an informal ‘Australian tour’ – covering every mainland capital city before disappearing from Australian skies.

Here’s your last chance to fly on the jet by route:

  • Sydney-Adelaide-Sydney: November 3, QF741 & QF752
  • Brisbane-Perth: November 17, QF651
  • Perth-Canberra: November 17, QF718
  • Melbourne-Canberra-Melbourne: November 30, QF822 & QF821
  • Brisbane-Adelaide-Brisbane: December 9, QF663 & QF656
  • Brisbane-Melbourne: December 9, QF635
  • Melbourne-Adelaide-Melbourne: December 17, QF683 & QF686
  • Melbourne-Brisbane: December 25, QF636
  • Brisbane-Darwin-Brisbane: December 26, QF824 & QF825
  • Sydney-Brisbane-Sydney: December 27, QF508 & QF517
  • Sydney-Melbourne-Sydney: December 27, QF447 & QF490

If you’re flying on Qantas’ Boeing 767s through December, also check out our business class review from Sydney to Brisbane.

Read: Qantas Boeing 767 business class review

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


About Chris Chamberlin

Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 18/9/14 by watson374

Looks like QF421 SYD-MEL on 29/11/14 is going to be my last ever QF 767 run (bar substitution).

2 on 18/9/14 by abudhabi1

Sydney to Bali was my second time internationally on a Qantas 767 in 2000.I'll miss the old girl.It's hard to believe with the exception of a handful of A330 services dometically we are going back to the before wide body era existed days in some ways.

3 on 18/9/14 by Rocky J

I flew on one of the first Qantas 767 flights from Wellington to Sydney in 1985.  I sitll have a commemorative bottle of port from the flight. 


4 on 18/9/14 by Merc25

Sorry to see the 767 go it was my favourite airline of the past .it was was intruduced when flying was still an experience and people dressed up to fly.

5 on 18/9/14 by drpurpleturtle

I'm on the "last" 767 flight (QF490) on the 27th Dec, just hoping there isn't a last minute aicraft change as i upgraded to J too...  Gonna miss these workhorses! 

1 on 22/9/14 by crosscourt

not me, happy to see the back end of them. waste of time and money upgrading their seats. should have been retired ages ago.

6 on 18/9/14 by Travelator

Does anyone know if QF are replacing every 767 with a 330 or will we fly in more 737 aircraft?

1 on 18/9/14 by AJW

More 737's, with some A330's for good meassure.

1 on 18/9/14 by abudhabi1

This will be interesting to see.Looking at some old TAA introducing the Airbus ads from the eighties telling us the big difference between airlines and planes got me thinking.We are almost with the exception of the E190's back to the days of both carriers having a domestic identical fleet.

1 on 19/9/14 by AgentGerko

Yes, doubly so, with Qantas/Virgin dominated by the B737 and Jetstar/Tiger dominted by the A320. Odd isn't it  that both 'groups' ordered Boeing for the premium airline and Airbus for the cut price airline? Does that say something about the aircraft themselves?

1 on 20/9/14 by watson374

No, it's only a legacy thing. Essentially, QF inherited a large domestic fleet of 737 Classics, and initially VA operated Classics too. JQ and TT were started up anew, so they bought A320s for whatever reason was in vogue at the time, and now stick with them while the full-service carriers stick with their 737 lineage.

It's a lot more complex than this, of course, but the key point is that it has nothing to do with the 737 being more 'premium' than the A320.

1 on 9/10/14 by AJW

Should also point out that in early September 2001 rumors said that Qantas had actually placed an order or letter of intent for A320 aircraft to replace 737 classics for domestic operations but hadn't annouced it.

But of course two things happened in September 2001, one was the collapse of Ansett that required Qantas to bring forward airraft orders urgently and of course 9/11 and the down turn in US air travel that made large numbers of (American Airlines) 738's available for imediate purchase.

The end result was Qantas ended up with 738's rather quickly to fill their capacity gap and subsiquent orders just made sense. Again the rumor mill had it that the A320's that are now with Jetstar are the ones that Qantas had ordered back in 2001.

Now you never know with Qantas group holding so many A320 NEO orders we may still yet see A320's in Qantas colours.

2 on 18/9/14 by drpurpleturtle

There are/were 31 767's including the seven ex BA aircraft (VH-ZXA-G) and the Freighter aircraft (VH-EFR).

There will be 30 A330's once the final four are handed back from JQ (though two aircraft are to be retuned to their lessors in 2015/16) 

Even though there will be the same amount of A330's replacing 767's, I think most aircraft will serve the SYD-MEL-BNE-PER routes rather than the SYD-MEL-BNE triangle! Also i believe only certain gates at SYD/MEL/BNE can accept the A330!

So it looks like more 737-800 flying for those who live on the east coast :(

1 on 19/9/14 by whipper

Just read Steve Creedy's piece in The Australian today who said the last flight is on November 27 and that (must be wrong) 'the 767's are to be replaced by Airbus A320-200's to move across to Qantas'.   Steve is usually on the money - but this time he appears to have slipped up...

1 on 19/9/14 by AgentGerko

Unless he's heard something that nobody else has then thats definitely wrong. As an agent I have access to Amadeus which is the same system QF uses. In Dec they still show B767s. In Jan its nothing but a mix of 737s and A330s. No way an airline would operate a mix of A320's and 737's. Double the training. Double the spares inventory. Double many costs. Oh, hang on a mo'. This is Qantas managemtn we're talking about. Hmmmm.

2 on 20/9/14 by AJW

Obviously a typo, should be A330-200's. Which is has been happening for a while. Clearly.

7 on 21/9/14 by crosscourt

More than happy to see the termination of this noisy plane.

1 on 22/9/14 by woganfan

I agree, there is a lot of fondness for these aircraft but have always thought they were really nasty to fly on. I expect a lot of red arrows for sharing my opinion but I will not mourn their passing.

1 on 22/9/14 by crosscourt

we can stand together then :)

8 on 21/9/14 by Ross

I am on QF 443 SYD-MEL on the 27 Dec and it is listed as a 767

1 on 21/9/14 by Chris

Looks like that'll be your last Qantas 767 flight! The list above shows the last B767 flights by route – there are a fair few between Melbourne and Sydney that day.

9 on 22/9/14 by crosscourt

just took an 767 from JFK to CDG on AA. Plane past its use by date ... and most definiteley the cabin crew.

1 on 23/9/14 by Darkavid99

Anyone know where they are going? Would any other airline buy them and make use of the new seating?

1 on 9/10/14 by AJW

What new seating? The Qantas refurbs just had new seat covers and some wood like trim added in J.

1 on 11/10/14 by FormalHall

They are going to Canadian airline Westjet I think, so in that sense the refurb was not a waste.

1 on 11/10/14 by AJW

Think you will find they are getting 4 of them. Besides the refurb was hardly a waste, it was basically seat coverings to extend the product for a little while longer. No doubt the cost has been recouped, even with the fleet going 9 months earlier than planned.

10 on 23/9/14 by AWA2602

I'll miss the old girls, having crossed the country thousands of times in the B767's there's a special place in my heart for this aircraft. I certainly don't look forward to the cramped confines of the B737 :-(

11 on 25/9/14 by DK

once wished that QF installed winglets like NZ did. Flew on the 767 from SYD-BNE right after the industrial lockout and have to say it was in a very neat condition. The roaring engine power on take off was amazing. 

12 on 9/10/14 by DB

Hate this plane, happy to see it go. 

1 on 9/10/14 by whipper

Give me a 767 over a 737 anyday - great the widebody aircraft and extra space.... Looks like they won't be directly replacing each one of them with the A330.  Pity.

1 on 9/10/14 by abudhabi1

I loved the wide body space of the 767's.Chances are if you travelling on your own and the plane wasn't full you got a whole row to yourself.

13 on 9/10/14 by AusFlyer

Slightly sorry to see the 767 go. Much as it is now considered old... it was still a great plane in its day. I also always preferred it to the 737's between Sydney and Melbourne!

14 on 9/10/14 by peteshep

It's sad to see them go, but it is probably time as they are getting a bit long in the tooth.

Wonder if there's going to be a sale on ebay for a bunch of used iPads?

1 on 9/10/14 by AJW

As previously annouced by Qantas they will go to the early 738's.

In fact this article amuses me that it mentions the cost of the refurb, when most of it was the IFE system, which is basically a bolt in module and the IPads that can now be moved to the 738's. I suspect Qantas knew they were going to move them elsewhere after the 767's were retired when they first purchased them.

1 on 9/10/14 by drpurpleturtle

Actually the earlier 738's (VH-VXA to VZE) when refurbished will have a BYOD IFE system just like VA's BYOD IFE...

15 on 9/10/14 by Hugo

Stupid question: why is Qantas often called the Red Roo, when the roo is quite clearly white?

1 on 9/10/14 by brinkers

Names stick. Take a look at the retro livery ( ). It once was red.

16 on 9/10/14 by Ross

Looks like my SYD-MEL flight on the 27th may now be the second last revenue flight?!?!

1 on 10/10/14 by eminere


2 on 6/12/14 by Ross

Bugger, QF have changed our flight to a 738, I was hoping for one last go on the 767...

17 on 11/10/14 by AirportAddict

When they were in operation: when will they replace these crappy old timers??

Now they are giving them the boot: such a shame to see the good old workhorse retire.

18 on 27/11/14 by tlitzow

I am trying to see that the SYD - MEL - SYD flights are the last QF 767 flights... i cannot find the last flight QF 452 anywhere ??

can you confirm that this will be the last 767 flight ??


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