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Qantas begins Airbus A380 flights to Dallas

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, Airbus A380, Dallas Fort Worth

Qantas today begins flying its flagship Airbus A380 from Sydney to Dallas in place of the Boeing 747 that’s shuttled between the two cities since May 2011.

It’s touted as “the world’s largest passenger aircraft flying the world’s longest route” – a nod to both the size of the double-decker superjumbo and the 13,804km stretch from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth airport.

And it's also a long flight if you’re counting off the clock: a potentially bum-numbing 15 hours and 35 minutes on the direct QF7 Sydney-Dallas leg. (And the return leg, which is also a direct flight, takes an extra hour again).

The best way to see those hours through will be in first class, which is one way that Qantas’ A380 trumps the Boeing 747. It has 14 first class suites which feature not only superior comfort and service compared to business class, but a ten-course degustation menu designed by Neil Perry with matching wines.

Read: A Qantas degustation – sampling the A380’s first class tasting menu

The Flying Kangaroo on the tail of this DFW-bound A380 has also been dressed for the occasion, with a Stetson hat and a 'neckerchief' with American-stars print, as seen on this sneaky spy shot.

From tip to tail and across all four classes – first, business class, premium economy and economy – the Airbus A380 carries some 120 extra passengers over the Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

It also packs 323,000 litres of fuel – “equivalent to eight backyard swimming pools”, Qantas says – to make each leg of the trip.

At current fuel prices that's worth a staggering A$252,632 – yes, Qantas' stateside ride costs over a quarter of a million dollars in gas alone!

"The Dallas/Fort Worth service offers direct access right into the heart of the US with over 50 connections to all US major cities all within four hours, including Orlando, Boston and Houston" said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

“Since starting on the route in 2011 the feedback from our corporate customers, especially those in the resources, technology and agricultural sectors, tells us they like flying into the Dallas hub because it gets them closer to their final destination in the US and offers great onward connections.”

Sydney to DFW, DFW to lots more places...

DFW is the home port of Qantas’ partner American Airlines, so passengers arriving on QF7 can transfer to direct flights to over 50 destinations in the USA, Canada and Mexico.

Qantas says the most popular cities for QF7 connections are Orlando, Boston, Houston and New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

The superjumbo's additional flying range over the Boeing 747 sees the former Brisbane stopover of QF8 on the Dallas-Sydney leg axed, with the A380 flying non-stop on its return journey.

One wrinkle of the superjumbo service is that Qantas' daily flights to Dallas are being trimmed back to six days a week, with the new schedule dropping Tuesday departures from Sydney.

However, the A380 flights will return to a daily roster over the 2014-2015 summer holiday season from December 9 2014 to January 20 2015.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

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1 on 7/5/14 by djcz

I'm happy to see the A380 jumping on to the route for the SYD-DFW and DFW-SYD Non stop on the return leg, but dissapoined as I live in Brisbane that there used to be 3 747ER daily at BNE but now Because of the DFW-BNE-SYD going along with the BNE-SIN become an A330, i Guess that just leaves BNE-LAX left with the 747ER. Would of loved to of seen BNE with a 2nd A380 member.

1 on 8/5/14 by curly

Noooooooooo! It is going to be sad to lose QF 8 from BNE. We had a very close working relationship her and I, those early mornings in the lounge before it got busy, the perfect timing for a business day in Sydney with well times onward connections and not forgetting those cheeky attempts at buying duty free booze. Take care dear seat 3F, or your new A380 equivalent, I will miss you.

1 on 8/5/14 by watson374

It was also, oddly enough, cheaper than the regular domestic flights in Economy.

1 on 8/5/14 by curly

Exactly, take that GST! $89 + 8,000 points (10,000 now) for a fully flat bed....Bliss!

1 on 8/5/14 by watson374

Indeed!

2 on 7/5/14 by Andy B

It's about time someone at Qantas made a smart decision.

3 on 7/5/14 by P.B.

Finally, news I actually wanted to hear from Qantas! As much as I like the 744ER it was just not an apt choice for the route. Non stop DFW-SYD is a nice perk too

1 on 7/5/14 by Mackenzie

Will seats still have to be blocked off in economy to make the diret flight???

1 on 7/5/14 by P.B.

I'm curious too if they do have to block seats, but considering that there's a 1000km distance between the two A/C types, load issues wouldn't be as drastic?

1 on 7/5/14 by RK

I read, albeit on a pilot's rumour network, that 100 seats would need to be blocked off on the return leg.

1 on 7/5/14 by undertheradar

i think the amount of 'cargo' underneath may also influence the outcome as well.. im guessing there's lots of planning/balance involved on 'where' the total weight is distributed.. in cabin v under cabin!! eg..high cargo flights may lead to more 'empty' seats and vv..it could change from flight to fllight... just my opinion

4 on 7/5/14 by RK

This is a smart move by Qantas. However, I'm a massive fan of the 747 so I'm pleased my upcoming flight to Dallas is on the 747ER. Flights by the Boeing 747 are becomign rarer and rarer around the world.

5 on 7/5/14 by moa999

Interesting also that QF will commence A380 operations into DFW two days before EK - so QF will get more of the presss.

Smart media move.

1 on 7/5/14 by hutch

Good photo op for EK/QF big birds next to each other (if there at the same time?)

1 on 7/5/14 by TheRealBabushka

On AA's home turf no less. The humanity!

2 on 7/5/14 by Himeno

QF has joint ventures with both AA and EK. EK has been trying to get codeshares with AA for a while. Maybe there could be a joint photo op with EK and QF A380s and an AA 77W with an announcement of bringing AA into the EK/QF deal.

Or maybe an announcement with up to 5 aircraft (depending on timings, QF A380, EK A380, AA 77W, BA 747, QR 77L) to bring EK into oneworld.

1 on 7/5/14 by watson374

The PR opportunities! The mind boggles.

Does Dallas/Fort Worth have any landmark suitable for a double-A380 flyover as was seen over Sydney Harbour in March 2013?

1 on 8/5/14 by Matthew

Cowboys Stadium perhaps.

2 on 8/5/14 by spinoza

Grassy Knoll? George W Presidential Library? :)

3 on 29/9/14 by Speedbird

One word answer to "fly over landmarks"

NO

6 on 7/5/14 by RK

It's great to see a good news story about Qantas in the media with everyone posting positive comments! Let's hope these SYD/DFW and MEL/DBX/LHR changes are the start of a new chapter for QF International.

7 on 7/5/14 by hutch

Glad that they finally made a decision on this... it appears to be a good decision too.

8 on 7/5/14 by Broderick

Im no airline guru by any means but could there be an option in the future for Qantas to use DFW as a stop-over point to LHR (and visa-versa) just like ANZ does with AKL-LAX-LHR?

1 on 7/5/14 by TheRealBabushka

Why would they want to do that?

DFW/LHR is one of the prime sectors for AA and BA. It would be a bit silly to muscle in.

In the process you torture your passengers by putting them on one of the loungest routes to London. Unless your passengers were all points-hungry frequent flyer masochist :p

1 on 7/5/14 by Fonga

If a good connection at DFW was scheduled, it would only be two hours longer than QF1. Two legs of 15hrs 25mins and 9hrs 10mins with a two hour stopover. But agreed, leave that sector to BA/AA. It's a good business model to dominate the route into a partner hub and utilise their network capacities for onward connections in a bigger market.

Which begs the question why Qantas doesn't fly all Australian sectors to Dubai and leave it to Emirates to provide the onward connections. Both airlines win. As it is, Emirates flies a lot of metal into and out of Australia and exclusively for QF customers in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane heading to Europe/ME. Shouldn't that be Qantas? Or do they lack the a/c? I can understand EK flying into Sydney and Melbourne and providing greater scheduling choice, but why has QF ceded home markets to them in other state capitals? The demand is obviously there.

 

1 on 7/5/14 by hutch

Having to go through US customs when not going to the US is something I will avoid.

1 on 1/10/14 by franz

You use to be able to avoid US Customs if not going to the US quite a long time ago.In fact for those of us who remember the days of Panam's 747SP out of Sydney and Melbourne to LA then continuing onto London with a change of planes and flight numbers It was exactly that and do take into account this dated back to when Qantas stopped in Bahrain enroute to London plus the time of the Iran and Iraq war so anything to avoid the Middle East was most welcomed.I do wish that such an option these days though via United through the USA still existed.

9 on 7/5/14 by driley28

I am flying on 1st August on QF 9.  New flight time outbound is not good for me, but flight home on QF 10 is fantastic.  Will have to go via SYD on the way out.

10 on 7/5/14 by Martin

Does this mean QF may shift the B747-400 ER back to the SYD- SFO Route?

1 on 7/5/14 by watson374

nope nope nope

2 on 7/5/14 by Himeno

QF is far more likely to send 747s to VCV then back to SFO.

QF returning to SFO would likely have to wait until they get some 787-9's (if they ever do).

1 on 7/5/14 by hutch

Yep, the DFW planes will take over a non-refurb 747 route and hence allow those birds to fly off to heaven.

11 on 7/5/14 by somethingy23

Forgive me for sounding immature but... YESSSSSSSSSSSSS. Finally Qantas has gotten something right by seeing America as its savior. Coming back non-stop is the cherry on top but bit of a shame that its not daily (we cant have everything right?). Also kudos on the LHR timetable changes, I t hink that the timings are great for dubai and london arrival ex melbourne, especially for tourists. Better than landing in melbourne at 5 in the morning or dubai in the middle of the night.

1 on 7/5/14 by Himeno

I'd prefer to get off QF8 in BNE then SYD...

1 on 8/5/14 by Robert

Me to.

1 on 8/5/14 by curly

Me three! :)

12 on 7/5/14 by Himeno

Anyone else notice that they used VH-OQF for the announcement video?

1 on 1/10/14 by Jack

Oh wow I didn't notice that!!

13 on 8/5/14 by spinoza

Wonder if there is any chance this will reduce fares on this route. I have noticed DFW fares being consistently higher than LAX even though a lot more people seem to fly through LAX. Maybe the increase supply of seats will mean slightly lower prices.

Or maybe due to lack of direct competition they will continue to charge a premium..

1 on 8/5/14 by Michael

I'll agree It would be nice if they would lower the fares to DFW, considering in the most recent sale it was $1300 to LAX and $1600 to DFW. But, the times I have flown it the 747 has not had a seat free, i'm one of those people who would rather do customs in DFW and then only tough it for an hour or two to most east coast cities.

Considering the alternative is landing in LAX, then taking either a 5-6 hour flight on AA to the east coast, or taking that 5-6 hour flight and then another connection **shudders**.

1 on 8/5/14 by watson374

Y'all know full well that if QFi can charge $1600 to DFW and leave almost completely full, they will continue to do so. It's a monopoly route with excellent connecting feed at both ends, and from the business perspective it is a godsend.

It ain't getting cheaper.

14 on 8/5/14 by tabs

Will F class pax have to use the AA Admirals Club lounge? 

1 on 8/5/14 by Robert

Yes as Qantas does not operate their own lounge,and has no future plans to do so.

15 on 9/5/14 by iamwill

Doing DFW return via BNE in Aug Sep for the 3rd time and love that i get the 747. As someone else has said, these flights are becoming as rare as. In the bubble up stairs in the private feeling business class over and the 3A back. Did this trip about 2 weeks after launch on a 747 and great that i finish up 3 weeks before they go to A380.

16 on 29/9/14 by eminere

Love that they dressed up the Flying Roo for the occasion. 

17 on 29/9/14 by Jack

Great!! Now qantas aircraft spend less time on the ground and more time earning money in the sky! And they also don't need to block seats or have less cargo which also leads to more money for the company!!

1 on 29/9/14 by hutch

Seats still blocked on DFW-SYD leg.

1 on 29/9/14 by Jack

Why would they?? the flight is 13,804km and the max (meaning full fuel , passengers and cargo) range of the a380 is 14,800km that's 1,004km to spare 

1 on 29/9/14 by hutch

Don't have all the technical aspects of A380 in front of me, but I've previously been made aware that QF needed to get the newer/different A380 to do DFW full load both ways.  Was also advised by A380 CSM last week that the DFW to SYD leg would have blocked seats.

2 on 30/9/14 by Phalanger

Because west bound it is flying into trade winds and with the required minimums factors for a remote flight (ie factor in diversions based on full decompression/engine out situtations) it is a close call.

1 on 20/10/14 by Jack

qantas should do what singapore airlines did and turn a small part of the econamy cabin into business class so that they dont need to block seets.

1 on 20/10/14 by hutch

Is this in reference to SQ long haul A340 LAX and JFK routes? QF refitted and reduced J seats and Increased Y on the A380 as they didn't have the demand. 

18 on 29/9/14 by Daragh

So, what's happening with lounges in DFW now, given just how terrible the OW lounge was / is and how cramped it already was before you add in a bunch more pax

 

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