QF fleet management & 747 replacements

By Johnny9 | Feb 10, 2019, 12:08 AM


Techie av-geek curiosity question:


I was always wondering where Qantas takes the extra capacity during peak season to fly SYD-YVR (QF75/76) on the 747 and the 2nd daily flight on SYD-LAX (QF17/18) on the A380, as was the case this summer. Where do these “heavies” fly typically off-peak season?

I guess fleet management is a science in itself but with a constant fleet some shortfalls need to be created somewhere if an A380 gets swapped with an A330 (on e.g. SYD-HKG), which is probably pulled out of a domestic route, replaced with a 737 which is pulled from another route - ultimately reducing capacity domestically (whilst increasing on AU-US routes).


Also what will happen once Qantas retires all of its 747s by end of 2020. 6 more 789 (236pax of which 42J) are on order but how can they replace 9 current 747s (360pax of which 58J) without substantially reducing the number of available seats on heavy routes (AU-US). A solution could be to utilise the 789s better, instead of the aircrafts sitting at LAX/LHR all day (as current A380s do) the schedule could be adapted for higher utilisation rates but this would mean some serious schedule changes to the North America flights (eg departing AU at night time as does current QF49 MEL-SFO).


Does anyone have any insight into this?



No member give thanks

By moa999 | Feb 10, 2019, 01:57 AM
Recently they haven't scheduled any heavy maintenance over the Summer period which provides the extra aircraft.

Yes from today you've got a seat reduction. But in the last 12 months you've had a big increase with multiple 787s delivered and only I think one 747 retirement.

Can't see much change to the US schedule - it seemingly works best for yield and filling the aircraft, and Qantas has spent big $s building its own maintenance shed at LAX
No member give thanks

By patrickk | Feb 10, 2019, 07:48 AM
You forget there may be more 787s in the second half of 2020. They may even get some 78-10s for the Asian routes thus freeing up 747s which are mainly used on these routes.
No member give thanks

By whoppersandwich | Feb 10, 2019, 11:36 AM
The idea in vogue at the moment is to switch from hub and spoke to point-to-point. I daresay that when the Sunrise announcement is made this year it will loosely coincide with orders for other widebodies (787s, A330neos etc) that will fly to destinations that currently aren’t served (think Seattle, Phoenix, Sapporo, Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town, Berlin etc) which should in theory give us a higher seatcount (with more aircraft) to the respective continents, while reducing the reliance on traditional megahubs like LAX, SIN, DXB and LHR.
No member give thanks

By dimi | Feb 10, 2019, 12:05 PM
The idea in vogue at the moment is to switch from hub and spoke to point-to-point. I daresay that when the Sunrise announcement is made this year it will loosely coincide with orders for other widebodies (787s, A330neos etc) that will fly to destinations that currently aren’t served (think Seattle, Phoenix, Sapporo, Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town, Berlin etc) which should in theory give us a higher seatcount (with more aircraft) to the respective continents, while reducing the reliance on traditional megahubs like LAX, SIN, DXB and LHR.

I highly doubt you will get enough demand to schedule a 787 on flights between Sydney and Phoenix or between LA and Wagga Wagga.
Point-to-point model certainly sounds attractive, but probably only works for short and medium distance flights that can be served by narrow body aircraft.
Long Haul point-to-point is limited to large cities with strong economic links, which effectively means that travelling to smaller or less important places (like Phoenix) from OZ is unlikely to be viable.
Member who gave thanks

Joe

By patrickk | Feb 10, 2019, 12:44 PM
The A321LR is the plane for point to point for smaller cities Less than 200 seats with business class. Then Adelaide and maybe Canberra to Singapore. Seattle has been mentioned for the 787 as it is good hub for Alaskan but Phoenix maybe not. Cape Town has been mentioned but I think not enough business travelers for Berlin. Frankfurt and Munich before that. So the 787 new routes in order might be Chicago and/or Seattle; Paris; Frankfurt; Cape Town; Munich, as well as replacing a few current ones such as Dallas.
No member give thanks

By dddale | Feb 10, 2019, 01:51 PM
I think the end of the 747 has already been factored. They will hang on to the 747 until it's time to wave them off and not because of necessity, but because they are owned, fuel is not as expensive as it once was and they can flog them as much or as little as they want. I am told their D check dates is what is keeping them alive.

What I am interested in is the premium heavy configuration of the 787 Qantas has. And while I get that it is designed to make the trek from Perth to London return, this same configuration is used to the US. It wasn't that long ago that Qantas had 747's in four configurations to suit different routes. That thinking has gone. They could have done different configurations on the 787, but did not. I observe Qantas isn't trying to match the capacity of the 747's across it's network in their wake, but trying to extract the same or more yield across the 787's using a premium heavy configuration.

About a month ago, Christopher Luxon from Air New Zealand intimated the same thing, that is, using the same aircraft with premium configuration to step up the higher fee paying passenger. What I see that airlines like Qantas and Air New Zealand are recognising that more seats need not be required to turn better yields.
Member who gave thanks

Joe

By Jedinak K | Feb 10, 2019, 02:22 PM
I think the end of the 747 has already been factored. They will hang on to the 747 until it's time to wave them off and not because of necessity, but because they are owned, fuel is not as expensive as it once was and they can flog them as much or as little as they want. I am told their D check dates is what is keeping them alive.

What I am interested in is the premium heavy configuration of the 787 Qantas has. And while I get that it is designed to make the trek from Perth to London return, this same configuration is used to the US. It wasn't that long ago that Qantas had 747's in four configurations to suit different routes. That thinking has gone. They could have done different configurations on the 787, but did not. I observe Qantas isn't trying to match the capacity of the 747's across it's network in their wake, but trying to extract the same or more yield across the 787's using a premium heavy configuration.

About a month ago, Christopher Luxon from Air New Zealand intimated the same thing, that is, using the same aircraft with premium configuration to step up the higher fee paying passenger. What I see that airlines like Qantas and Air New Zealand are recognising that more seats need not be required to turn better yields.

I agree, with the competition as intense and current volatile economic conditions at hand the old thinking of 'matching capacity with capacity' may not be the best way. Premium carriers are now targeting the premium traffic (business/premium economy) by providing solid hard product offerings to match the demand needed to make a route commercially viable, with the remainder to be made up by economy. A premium configured 787 is probably more profitable on niche routes with demand than a heavy capacity 747. Hence the replacement of 747s with premium heavy 787s to implement a point to point routing seems to be general plan going forward.
No member give thanks

By PERflyer | Feb 10, 2019, 05:34 PM
Great discussion. Certainly raises intereting points about yield and capacity. Rembering Qantas’s international business until recently was making a loss year after year. Now profitable again on the international side they are clearly happy to sacrifice market share or volume of total seats for yield / more premium seats and can make a profit internationally this way. It seems volume and % of market share is only importwnt to them for the already strong domestic business.


No member give thanks

By Traveller14 | Feb 13, 2019, 11:16 AM
Great discussion. Certainly raises intereting points about yield and capacity. Rembering Qantas’s international business until recently was making a loss year after year. Now profitable again on the international side they are clearly happy to sacrifice market share or volume of total seats for yield / more premium seats and can make a profit internationally this way. It seems volume and % of market share is only importwnt to them for the already strong domestic business.



Good analysis, but the difficulty that even SQ has in filling some of its seats on premium routes like SIN - New York may add a cautionary note.
No member give thanks

×
×

Forgot Password

If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.

×

Resend activation email

If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.

×