Qantas QF7/8 changing from an A380 to a Boeing 787?

By timothyshears | Apr 03, 2019, 09:13 PM
Do you think Qantas will change aircraft deployed on the Dallas route from a A380 to a 787-9 when the next batch arrives. I'm thinking this as Qantas might the allocated A380s to take over the Santiago and Johannesburg flights.
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By whoppersandwich | Apr 03, 2019, 10:15 PM
The murmurings are that if/when the AA JV takes effect a sizeable amount of A380 flying will be cut from the US. SYD LAX with its solid F load factors will almost certainly remain an A380 route for the forseeable future, however QFs aim with the JV is to spread the flying out to more North American destinations using 787s and perhaps the sunrise aircraft.
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By patrickk | Apr 04, 2019, 07:26 AM
I think the six will be taken up with Paris (3) and Chicago or Seattle (depending on JV outcome) which will be at least another 2 so Dallas is on the cards but not this round. The A380s will do joburg and Santiago at a reduced frequency but I think that will be late 2020 when another batch of 787s may start arriving for dfw.
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By hutch | Apr 04, 2019, 08:27 AM
I think the six will be taken up with Paris (3) and Chicago or Seattle (depending on JV outcome) which will be at least another 2 so Dallas is on the cards but not this round. The A380s will do joburg and Santiago at a reduced frequency but I think that will be late 2020 when another batch of 787s may start arriving for dfw.

Unless there is a change of direction, the extra 787s QF have purchased are to retire the 747s. Which means SFO, HND, JNB, SCL and to some degree, HKG need to be covered. Some expansion is possible, but I can't see how all those new routes can be added when effectively 6 x 787 are replacing 6 x 747.
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By kimshep | Apr 04, 2019, 10:07 AM

@timothyshears,


No. SYD-SCL is currently 4 days a week. I would think that, rather than changing SYD-DFW, QF would be more likely to go daily on SYD-SCL with a B787-9 to equal LAN - and maintain capacity. For South Africa, it is also highly possible that QF might begin services to CPT via PER. That would then allow them to run a daily SYD-JNB nonstop B787-9 and a SYD-CPT service (possibly with a stop in PER) which would allow them to maintain current passenger levels - and provide for expansion. More firm B787 orders would be necessary.

QF 7/8 (SYD-DFW-SYD) is currently a 484 seat A380 service which provides a revenue-positive 14 seat First cabin and a high load factor during peak seasons. This is something not available on QF's B787-9. Irrespective of the proposed QF/AA joint venture, I would see the possibility of AA wishing to operate a comparable route as being low, at this point in time. AA has a need to sort out their USA-Asia strategy before looking towards an already QF served DFW-SYD. I would see the possibility of more AA services ex LAX/SFO to Australia as being on the cards, post approval of the JV.

I could, however, see the possibility of QF expanding Australian-east coast to Dallas, TX services by introducing a second Australian gateway (either BNE or MEL) to DFW. Should this happen, then yes, a daily B787-9 service from both SYD and the second gateway may be feasible for QF to operate. It would maintain loads (compared to the A380 service), but would still lose the lucrative First service.

I would heavily doubt the removal of a 484 seat service and a replacement with a 238 seat B787 - unless a second gateway service to DFW is introduced, or alternatively, the much talked about ORD (Chicago) service materialises.

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By Traveller14 | Apr 04, 2019, 11:00 AM

@timothyshears,


No. SYD-SCL is currently 4 days a week. I would think that, rather than changing SYD-DFW, QF would be more likely to go daily on SYD-SCL with a B787-9 to equal LAN - and maintain capacity. For South Africa, it is also highly possible that QF might begin services to CPT via PER. That would then allow them to run a daily SYD-JNB nonstop B787-9 and a SYD-CPT service (possibly with a stop in PER) which would allow them to maintain current passenger levels - and provide for expansion. More firm B787 orders would be necessary.

QF 7/8 (SYD-DFW-SYD) is currently a 484 seat A380 service which provides a revenue-positive 14 seat First cabin and a high load factor during peak seasons. This is something not available on QF's B787-9. Irrespective of the proposed QF/AA joint venture, I would see the possibility of AA wishing to operate a comparable route as being low, at this point in time. AA has a need to sort out their USA-Asia strategy before looking towards an already QF served DFW-SYD. I would see the possibility of more AA services ex LAX/SFO to Australia as being on the cards, post approval of the JV.

I could, however, see the possibility of QF expanding Australian-east coast to Dallas, TX services by introducing a second Australian gateway (either BNE or MEL) to DFW. Should this happen, then yes, a daily B787-9 service from both SYD and the second gateway may be feasible for QF to operate. It would maintain loads (compared to the A380 service), but would still lose the lucrative First service.

I would heavily doubt the removal of a 484 seat service and a replacement with a 238 seat B787 - unless a second gateway service to DFW is introduced, or alternatively, the much talked about ORD (Chicago) service materialises.


In one direction, aren't loads limited on DFW to SYD A388s because of the lengthy sector? By that I mean not all seats can be sold. So if true,it isn't '484 seats.'

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By patrickk | Apr 04, 2019, 03:20 PM
The issue for Santiago and jo’burg is the 787-9 is not CASA ETOPS approved that is why an A380 or two will fill the slot. By then they will all be refurbished so will have a spare. The 789s will be worked much harder than the 747s given they are new. The DFW drops a 100 seats at some times but never premium folk and not all year round. They would have to put 2 789s which they may do sometime but not for a couple of years.
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By kimshep | Apr 04, 2019, 06:04 PM
Given QF's proven experience of PER-LHR-PER (and add in LATAM's SCL-AKL-SYD) on B787=9, I'm not all that convinced that such ETOPS operations would remain 'blacklisted', should QF petition CASA on it. Both the above routes have demonstrated consistently their reliability .. and for more than 12 months of finite data.

SYD-SCL-SYD is a relatively 'new' route, competing with OW partner LATAM. In the past, QF operated SYD-EZE against a weak AR (Aerolineas Argentinas) and there is some discussion in certain quarters that AR may seek to return to the route, with a new fleet type. Whether that happens - who knows, but if it did it would weaken the market, especially with NZ on the AKL-EZE market also. Far better for QF to have a daily B787 presence on SYD-SCL than run an A380 3 or 4 times a week. I wouldn't underestimate the value of mining traffic on the SCL route and, for business, a daily service is always preferable. Whilst the South American route is growing slowly, it is not yet centre-mind with many Australian holiday makers.

Similarly, SYD-JNB nonstop is a medium risk route. It has been operated between 5-7 weekly services over the years, even during the time where QF had it's partnership with SAA. I would think that there would not be sufficient demand to run a daily (or even 6 times weekly) service on the A380. So you would see a reduction of weekly flight schedules to JNB .. and that would provide a disincentive to operate a separate Australia-CPT service. The B787-9 provides a lot of route flexibility which would serve both South African routes well. The A380-800 is better used on high volume, long distance routes where demand exists on both ends of the route. Especially where there is demand for First Class and significant Business loads. IMHO, South America and South Africa, whilst popular - are not there yet.
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By patrickk | Apr 05, 2019, 06:41 AM
We will see re CASA and ETOPS. The A330 incident in WA and the recent JQ 787 flying into Osaka may play on their minds. If they approve ETOPS then certainly both flight would go to 789s.
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By aturnbull | Apr 05, 2019, 11:54 PM
We will see re CASA and ETOPS. The A330 incident in WA and the recent JQ 787 flying into Osaka may play on their minds. If they approve ETOPS then certainly both flight would go to 789s.

ETOPS approval wont be a problem. CASA is slow to act and quite cautious, bit with many other agencies already approving 330 and foreign carriers already utilising it.

My guess is that QF are already going through some stringent processes in order to ensure this is in place for 2020.
SYD-JNB on a 789 seems a no brainer, supplemented by PER-JNB 3-4pw.

SYD-SCL will slowly increase to daily with the 789 taking over. Perhaps we may even see a new Sth American route

DFW will stay 380 until sunrise aircraft I think. Then I think the 789s will play a larger role double daily. AJ is on record saying it costs the same to operate 2 789s compared to 1 388, so perhaps more dreamliners will be ordered and QF will look to offload some 388s.


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By Red Cee | Apr 07, 2019, 06:16 PM
Can’t see it happening in the foreseeable future. Why would they reduce the number of seats from an A380 to a Boeing 787? Having said that, if a second 787 service to be introduced from say MEL to DFW, it may be possible. However, currently Qantas don’t have enough 787’s to even consider this.
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By DanV | Apr 08, 2019, 10:33 AM
Can't really see a down-gauge happen on the SYD-DFW route unless if two of the next tranch of the x6 789 aircraft are allocated to BNE/MEL-DFW.

Saying that introducing a BNE and/or MEL-DFW route as part of an approved QF/AA JV would free up the A380s for the slot constraint airports (e.g HKG).
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