Qantas will fly its Boeing 787 Hong Kong from December 2018, marking the Dreamliner’s first Asian destination – although it’s unlikely to be the last.
Travellers from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will all have the choice of flying on the Boeing 787 – which boasts Qantas’ latest business class, premium economy and economy seats – as an alternative to the scheduled Airbus A380 and A330 services.
Melbourne-Hong Kong Boeing 787 flights will begin on 13 December 2018 as QF29/QF30 running five days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday for QF29; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday for QF30) with an Airbus A330 on the other two days.
From 28 January to 29 March 2019 the Dreamliner will be flying the Melbourne-Hong Kong route for six days each week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for QF29; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for QF30).
Brisbane-Hong Kong Boeing 787 flights will start from 19 December 2018 as QF97/QF98, initially at one day per week (Wednesday for QF97, Tuesday for QF98) and then increasing to two days per week from 30 January 2019 (Wednesday and Friday for QF97; Tuesday and Friday for QF98), with an Airbus A330 on all other days.
Sydney-Hong Kong Boeing 787 flights will commence on 30 March 2019 as QF117/QF118, with the Dreamliner rostered for six days per week (except for Tuesday on QF128 and Wednesday on QF127).
Australian Business Traveller rates Qantas’ Boeing 787 business class seat as a five-star effort, although we’re less enamoured of premium economy: the thoughtful design is handicapped by having too little legroom, although this will be less of an issue on the daytime flights to Hong Kong than the overnight return legs.
However, on routes where the Boeing 787 replaces the Airbus A330, this will provide travellers with the option to book into the premium economy cabin compared to the two-class (business and economy) A330.
Hong Kong is intended to be Qantas’ final Dreamliner destination for its initial eight-strong fleet, ahead of six more red-tailed Boeing 787s arriving from late 2019 to the end of 2020.
That second tranche of Dreamliners will let Qantas cherry-pick new and existing routes to Europe (where Paris and Frankfurt are tipped to join London as non-stop routes from Perth), the Americas (Qantas has name-checked Chicago and Seattle as possible Dreamliner destinations) and Asia.
Those jets will also see the retirement of Qantas’ ageing Boeing 747 fleet which currently flies to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Johannesburg and Santiago.