Qantas set to reveal Boeing 787 routes, seats

Qantas set to reveal Boeing 787 routes, seats

Qantas is poised to reveal its Boeing 787 seats and the aircraft’s first routes at a media event on Thursday October 27, as the airline takes the next step towards the Dreamliner’s debut in late 2017.

The first international route for the red-tailed Boeing 787 will be one from Qantas’ existing network, with all-new destinations to follow as Qantas builds up its 787 fleet.

The Boeing 787 will also appear on a series of domestic flights on a short-term basis so that pilots and cabin crew can become accustomed to the new bird.

Also on the cards: the long-awaited unveiling of Qantas' Dreamliner seating and cabin configuration.

Earlier reports based on an internal Qantas seating diagram sighted by Australian Business Traveller indicate the aircraft could have 42 business class seats, with 28 premium economy seats and 165 seats in economy.

The business class seats are likely to be an evolution of Qantas’ existing A330 Business Suite (below)...

... but it's premium economy which could pack the big surprise, with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce promising a “revolutionary” design.

Economy seating will follow a nine-across (3-3-3) layout, with all eyes on the legroom granted to travelers in the cheap seats.

Australian Business Traveller will be attending the Qantas media event to bring you the news live on the day, while you can also follow us on Twitter (@AusBT) for this and other breaking news as it happens.

Also read: Here's what we know about the Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Connect with other business travellers in our Qantas discussion group

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

39 comments

  • Angus  Coventry

    Covo95

    5 Oct, 2016 08:17 pm

    i hope qantas's economy seat is thomson aero's cozysuite seat
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    Chris2304

  • Arcanum

    Arcanum

    8 Oct, 2016 02:24 am

    I've heard the cozy suite rumour too.  Now reading this...


    "... but it's premium economy which could pack the big surprise, with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce promising a

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  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    8 Oct, 2016 09:59 am

    18-19" width and 34" pitch
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  • markpk

    markpk

    5 Oct, 2016 08:29 pm

    Gosh it would be nice if Qantas would break with traditional PR "control the message" wisdom and host an event for its loyal customers. 

    Whether its the same day or same week - how about hosting customers and giving them insights as to what 'our' experience will be vs what your PR flacks are telling you should be 'the message' that goes into mainstream media...

    Here's the thing - you empower loyal customers, you cut the PR crap and tell us how it will be... and we will become powerful mavens for your brand. 

    I'm not sure what Qantas doesn't understand about this...
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  • princess fiona

    princess fiona

    5 Oct, 2016 08:58 pm

    Actually as one of QF's "loyal customers" I will be attending this event.
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    ryanoleary, 3 guests

  • markpk

    markpk

    6 Oct, 2016 10:55 am

    True, I had forgotten that AusBT had mentioned that fact a while ago..! 
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  • Boogs

    Boogs

    5 Oct, 2016 09:23 pm

    Platinum Ones in SYD have been invited. You don't get more 'loyal' than that!

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  • Mal

    Mal

    5 Oct, 2016 10:47 pm

    Qantas has invited a number of Platinum One frequent flyers in Sydney to the event, Mark.
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  • superflyer

    superflyer

    6 Oct, 2016 12:03 am

    Shame that Qantas is still Sydney-centric when it comes to these things. I always found it odd when I was travelling a lot a few years back I never heard boo from Qantas, despite the odd Sydney-based colleague getting invites etc to things. The irony for me was that I was travelling routinely to Sydney and given it was on Qantas they knew exactly where I was - so my home postcode shouldn't have precluded me from an invitation.
     

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  • highflyer

    highflyer

    6 Oct, 2016 02:25 am

    i was the same unfortunately.. being based in Adelaide... was P1 for a couple years but didn't ever get 1 invite... Now i only manage to maintain Platinum, so definitely no invites unfortunately...
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    6 Oct, 2016 08:50 am

    Super,  as a Gold I get invited to QANTAS things here in Canberra. Usual a lunchtime do once a year.  Haven't gone though as I am usually busy at that time.
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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    6 Oct, 2016 10:27 am

    maybe because it's their biggest base (home base/head office) and has the facilities available , all those 'minor' details, for such an event.

    ho hum...more sour grapes from those who are feeling 'unloved' lol

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    6 Oct, 2016 10:21 am

    They are/It is :) 

    I (and i'm sure others) are not sure what you are bangin on about.

    Sounds like sour grapes to me ;)

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    rufusfly

  • markpk

    markpk

    6 Oct, 2016 02:06 pm

    As a Qantas Platinum flyer it definitely wasn't sour grapes...I'd just like to see Qantas do more to have real engagement with customers - and as I noted above, I had forgotten that it was previously announced that P1's had been invited! 
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  • fxdxdy

    fxdxdy

    5 Oct, 2016 08:33 pm

    OK, be honest, who is going to be pressing CMD+R or CTRL+F5 all day on Oct 27 in the hope to grab seats on the first flight?

    And do you reckon they will do the same thing they did when the A380 came and sell fares that are a multiple of 787 when they pick the first international destination?
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  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    5 Oct, 2016 08:55 pm

    I'm picking Auckland as the first destination to familiarise the crew and pilots 
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  • Mal

    Mal

    5 Oct, 2016 10:45 pm

    Very unlikely to be Auckland, as Qantas uses its offshoot 'JetConnect' crew for this, but the 787 would need to be flown by QF pilots and crew. I expect familiarisation flights to be east-west plus a few BNE-SYD-MEL legs, and these will be as much for publicity as anything else.
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  • cavemanzk

    cavemanzk

    8 Oct, 2016 12:05 pm

    Nothing has been said yet about which Qantas Crew will get the 789. Nothing from legally stopping them to crew the 789 by JetConnect. JetConnect already provide long-haul crew to the Qantas Group for services ex-AU. 
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  • fxdxdy

    fxdxdy

    6 Oct, 2016 12:12 pm

    I thought they would want to stay 'over land', near a runway :)

    I'm tipping some SYD-MEL-BNE triangle routes (in lieu of a A330) and then some PER-E-Coast flights before some Asian routes before settling on a final route.
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  • AJW

    AJW

    7 Oct, 2016 03:08 pm

    Been previously announced (including think on this board) that they will operate domestic flights for familiarisation.
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  • moa999

    moa999

    6 Oct, 2016 12:23 am

    While Qantas mostly uses ZK (Jetconnect) aircraft for TransTasman flights, recent maintenance and additional flights have meant some VH (Mainline) planes and crews have been used.

    That said I would expect more likely to go on the SYD/MEL/BNE-PER routes as its an easier replacement for a 330 service
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  • Dorn

    Dorn

    6 Oct, 2016 11:09 am

    So what's likely to be the revolutionary PE seat? A copy of the NZ almost business but not quite seat?
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Oct, 2016 01:36 pm

    Now I understand why AJ has been talking about his 789s can/will open ULH routes like PER->LHR or DFW->MEL(i.e.   nearly 14,500km excluding margin for headwind).  It's not just his fantasy but may indeed be operationally econ feasible.

    In Boeing nominal config(i.e. 'typical config' on its brochure), a 789 can fly 14,140km with 290pax+bags in 2-class(flat bed J + Y).  If the 235 total seat count tipped by ausbt.com.au is correct, a QF 789 @ full pax will only carry about 81% payload relative to Boeing's nominal config.  In such op scenario, a QF 789 can take on much more fuel than nominal config would allow before hitting its MTOW limit.  I est. the additional fuel onboard can extend the cruise range by @ least 1.5 hour(787 burns about 2-2.5t of fuel per hour) or about 1,400km over a 789 in nominal config.

    At 235 seats, QF's 789 has 1 of the lowest density cabin config among all 787 operators.  In fact, 333 has the same total usable cabin floor area as a 789 yet in QF config, a 333 carries 297seats....probably why AJ has been referring to his 789s as  luxurious.
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  • GregXL

    GregXL

    10 Oct, 2016 10:24 am

    I will be watching with interest to see how much extra range QF can achieve by operating with a reduced payload.  FLX has commented on extra fuel carried, though this does not extend beyond the capacity of the standard tanks.  Are other operators significantly limiting their fuel loading ?  There is also a fuel saving from reduced payload, which is used now on DFW-SYD flights, but it seems questionable as a business strategy to target using a new aircraft type for services it isn't spec'd to run.   I lean toward sceptical on the long range routes being touted, waiting to be surprised!
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  • Yohy

    Yohy

    6 Oct, 2016 01:48 pm

    I think we'll see these birds go immediately onto routes to retire the gas-guzzling 747s and where there is heavy competition from carriers also with 787s - perhaps SYD-HND or SYD-SFO
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  • hutch

    hutch

    6 Oct, 2016 02:58 pm

    Unless they re-time the flights (unlikely), using it at HND would be unwise, due to the excessive 'dead' ground time there. 
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    8 Oct, 2016 01:18 am

    "..using it at HND would be unwise, due to the excessive 'dead' ground time there."

    And exactly why QF deploys 744 on SYD-HND.....that 744 fleet has been paid for a long time ago in terms of capital cost.....long 'dead' ground time doesn't really hurt out of pocket expense.  In contrast, doing the same with brand new 789s carrying hefty mthly payments won't be the same story.... 
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    6 Oct, 2016 04:55 pm

    SFO requires 2 aircraft. While it is a likely 787 route, it won't happen until they have more aircraft.
    HND can be done with 1 aircraft, however QF keeps the aircraft parked in Tokyo all day so the timetable requires 2. Due to timezones, flight times and the HND slot limits, the timetable options for a single aircraft operation would become problematic.
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  • hutch

    hutch

    6 Oct, 2016 09:20 pm

    If they launch a route with a single plane, it could be a mixed fleet 787/747 route initially.

    In regards to HND, I hope that QF is making some quiet movements behind the scenes about obtaining some more slots at HND. If they obtained those slots, they could do SYD-HND (O/N), HND-MEL and MEL-HND, HND-SYD (O/N)... with the same fleet requirements.

    But, I gather there will be many changes going on with routea over next couple of years... CAPA had an article the other day about Qantas considering the droping one AUS-DXB flight and returning one flight to LHR via Asia... whether that is true or not, who knows?? But many people would welcome it I gather.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    7 Oct, 2016 06:41 pm

    QF is unlikely to get more slots at HND unless the Department of Infrastructure gets a deal with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (and we all saw how well that went with the US slots with Delta wanting enough slots at HND to move their entire NRT operation there).

    HND long haul slots are assigned on a per country basis by MLIT with half the slots for each country going to Japanese carriers. The current allocation for Australia is 14 night slots (10pm-6am) with all in use, 7 for QF and 7 for NH.

    The old US agreement was for 4 night slots. The new agreement is 5 day slots and 1 night slot. NH has the night slot and 3 day slots, JL has 2 day slots.
    HA has the night slot and 1 day. UA and AA have 1 day each, DL has 2. That agreement took almost 3 years to complete.

    The problem with the HND slots (or really TYO) is that ground transport all but stops between 2330-0000 and 0430. Departures from HND between 0130 and 0530 are going to be very difficult for pax to get to the airport. Arrivals between 2230 and 0330 can lead to long waits to get into the city.

    The Japan-Australia air service agreement is unlimited capacity, other then to/from HND. QF can fly as much as it wants - to NRT.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    8 Oct, 2016 01:10 am

    ".. problem with the HND slots (or really TYO) is that ground transport all but stops between 2330-0000 and 0430."

    I travel to Japan @ least 2-3 times per yr on avg and often involve Tokyo.  What I hv noticed in the past 1-2 yrs about HND Int'l terminal is that the transport access situation in late night/early morning hrs hv greatly improved.  It's not uncommon to find 3-4 bus operators(Including www.limousinebus.co.jp ) offering multiple departure times between 00:00-05:00 between HND and various parts of town(@ least the major hotel clusters).  Even the monorail has expanded the op hours these days.  In addition, some hotels near HND Int'l terminal offer free shuttle with schedules specifically catering for very late arrivals(e.g. last bus 00:40) /very early departures(e.g. 1st bus 03:50).
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    6 Oct, 2016 05:47 pm

    Also HND is popular so going from 360 seats to 235 or whatever doesn't make sense unless it as an extra. They will boost an existing schedule for Christmas say Melb LA for three days a week or an extra HK or Singapore rotation from anywhere.
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  • hutch

    hutch

    6 Oct, 2016 09:13 pm

    I would guess that QF would use a bird for familiarity flights and then when the 2nd bird arrives then soon launch the long-haul flight (I'm recall reading somewhere that the first birds were coming not that far apart).

    My feel is that BNE-LAX is a likely route if they launch route. Though SYD- SFO also has merits. Enables the two 747 on that route to take over flights currently done by original sky bed. 

    We will find out soon anyway.
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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    7 Oct, 2016 01:43 pm

    BNE - LAX - JFK would make sense because it would be a huge cost-cutter with respect to the onward 'tag flight,' and with AA's airside connection, terminal renovations and A321 transcon fleet the loss of capacity between LAX and JFK on QF metal won't be too much of a problem. That said, I don't think QF will want to lower capacity ex-BNE since they'd want to bring their A-game to compete with Virgin Australia.

    That said, I could see QF going for BNE - DFW as well, which would be a huge point of product differentiation for QF and a big smack in the face for Virgin. It would also increase their presence in DFW. 

    But as we all know we'll have to wait until the reveal.
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  • GregXL

    GregXL

    7 Oct, 2016 05:07 pm

    BNE-LAX-JFK would require significantly more crews for the start up, though there would be a benefit from a larger reduction of 747 crews. 

     The SYD-centric nature of QF suggests to me that the first route will be out of SYD, so my guess is SYD-SFO

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    8 Oct, 2016 01:41 am

    My guess is that the very 1st revenue route for QF's 1st 789 will be SYD-AKL @ least initially for both air+ground crew familiarization if the trend of most other earlier 787 operators(Also 350 operators) is a guide.

    1.  Dispatch will be from the biggest QF online engineering base which should already hv much experience with JQ's 788...just more simple to deal with tech contingency and reduce any potential schedule disruptions(e.g. easy to find a spare airframe to swap)

    2.  Although NZ is a competitor, AKL also has experienced tech/engineering infrastructure to deal with 787 tech contingency thx to a sizable NZ 789 fleet is already based there.  Contrary to popular belief, competitors in this industry do help each other out/share tech advice in tech contingency situations especially re a new type where spare part stocks are fewer.

    3.  SYD-AKL is short duration and therefore great for crew new to 787 to accumulate frequent takeoff/cruise/landing cycles in a relatively short period.

    4.  SYD-AKL is also 1 of the very few QF short routes that has  mkt demand to support premium longhaul J cabin product on QF's 789.
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    8 Oct, 2016 01:33 pm

    I see CAPA are suggesting one London A380 would move from Dubai to through Asia (read Singapore). This would connect with A333s from Brisbane and Melb and 738s from Perth as well as a 789 Perth to London with connections from Adelaide and Canberra, as well as Sydney and Melbourne. This would put more passengers on QANTAS metal but European connections would mean a horrible LHR connection and a backtrack. This could be a radical rethink of Westbound using the 789. We shall see.
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  • Tim Saunders

    Tim Saunders

    10 Oct, 2016 10:16 am

    Sounds like uninformed speculation and another case of people trying to be armchair airline executives. My understanding is that Qantas has to use Dubai as its stopover for all European services under the terms of the Qantas-Emirates alliance. Maybe when they come to renew the five-year alliance this might change though, but not now.
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    10 Oct, 2016 01:09 pm

    Tim the five year alliance is up soon in planning terms (in 2018), and so that is what I suspect is on the cards with the 787, a radical rethink of Westbound. I am not sure CAPA is entirely as uninformed as you suggest. They seem to have their ear to the gorund on quite a lot of things. If QF are re-thinking Eastbound with the 787 from 2018 then it would makes sense for them to re-think Westbound, for the end of the current Emirates agreement in two years time. It may come to nothing but they would be silly not to model various options, and a dual hub throgh Singapore and Dubai may be one of them.
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