Qantas to fly Boeing 787-9 non-stop to Paris (but not until 2020)

Qantas to fly Boeing 787-9 non-stop to Paris (but not until 2020)

Qantas intends to launch non-stop daily Boeing 787 flights between Perth and Paris as the second part of its direct-to-Europe network

But don't rush out to buy your tickets – the Paris-bound Dreamliner (or should be be Seineliner?) won't take off until around 2020 and hinges on the airline purchasing a second tranche of the advanced jets, beyond the eight already signed up.

"For the first time we have daily rights for Paris," Alan Joyce told Australian Business Traveller in Seattle on the sidelines of the delivery ceremony for the first red-tailed Dreamliner.

"Last time we were in Paris we only could do three days a week, which made it sub-economical and meant that we weren’t attracting the business market, but now that has changed."

Joyce expects to see a third non-stop flight into Germany, with Frankfurt – which the airline previously flew via Singapore before axing the route in 2013 – sitting on the shortlist.

"Germany is still a big market and it's been hard for us in the past when we were flying through a hub, so the opportunity there is  actually quite real."

The next Dreamliners a few years away

However, no new Boeing 787 routes can be entertained unless the airline takes up more of its 45 'orders and options' for the fuel-efficient jets.

"The first eight aircraft are already allocated, so Paris would have to come from number nine or after," Joyce noted.

Joyce said that the airline would look at ordering more Dreamliners from 2018 but "there will be a gap" between signing on the dotted line and being handed over the keys.

"Next year we’ll have to start making calls (and) there are some that come available from the end of 2019 to 2020."

"We do need to bed down the (Boeing 787) operation, we want to to demonstrate to the market and our shareholders that these 787s are making economic sense and we can make a good profit and return (from them)."

"And we're keen on building up our new western hub our of Perth and over time we obviously have to demonstrate we can make money out of Perth-London and that this aircraft performs well on that route."

Those new Dreamliners could then fly Melbourne-Perth-Paris or Brisbane-Perth-Paris, depending on which east coast city the new aircraft are based in.

Joyce said Qantas could also open a new Boeing 787 base in Sydney to start Sydney-Perth-Paris flights.

"What it comes down to is that we're looking for state governments and airports to be supportive of us, because we know these services are good for the states and good for the airports."

"The great thing about Brisbane and Melbourne and Perth is that the governments got behind that and made it happen. Hopefully when we're looking at further aircraft we'll the same co-operation from Sydney for those aircraft to be based there."

David Flynn is visiting Seattle as a guest of Qantas and Boeing.

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.


  • levelnine


    17 Oct, 2017 11:54 am

    As the article notes, a lot hinges on the success of PER-LHR flights.

    With QF moving back to SIN, which is a much more logical stop over point than PER for most East Coast flyers, there is a real risk that PER might flop. (I'm not saying it is likely, but the risk certainly is there.) It will be interesting to see what QF does if customers are uninterested in PER-based European flights.
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  • Mark


    17 Oct, 2017 12:42 pm

    I agree with you, it looks good on paper but many people don't want to spend 17-18 hours + in an aircraft. We are flying back mid 2018 to London in business and I have opted for BNE-SIN-LHR even though QF will have the dated product on QF1, we prefer Singapore as a stopover point plus 14 hours is much easier than 17-18 hours via Perth.
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  • Charles


    17 Oct, 2017 01:05 pm

    I think the Perth leg will be a winner. Time will tell however.
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  • traveller90


    18 Oct, 2017 08:11 pm

    Totally agree! 789 is not designed for long haul comfort, only for economics. SIN will be the winner for 1 stop flights to Europe from AU's east coast. PER is only a marketing tool for the non-stop kangaroo route, and once that dies down, logic will return. Simple rules apply - and gimmicks come and go.
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  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    17 Oct, 2017 01:11 pm

    I agree. Personally I can't see myself transiting in PER as it won't be as seamless as transiting in SIN or DXB. Mainly because PER will be the port for exiting and entering the country. Meaning:
    1. For outbound: Need to pass through passport control as well as the usual security check in PER. It isn't likely to be pleasant after 4-5 connecting flight from SYD/MEL/BNE.
    2. For inbound: probably worse as you need to pass through not only passport and security check, you need to collect luggage to clear custom/quarantine. It'll b very unpleasant after a 16-17 hour flight.
    Qantas has to address those 2 issues to make it competitive. If somehow they can make the SYD/MEL/BNE sector as an international flight like what QF8 used to do with BNE-SYD, ie you go through immigration and custom in your home port, that may make it work.
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  • Alex


    17 Oct, 2017 02:39 pm

    I disagree @Michael. I would much rather go through PER as it would allow me to check in for my trek to LHR around 45mins before departure. The experience in PER *should* be seamless as its in the same terminal and (hopefully) well designed solely for QF transfers between Int-Dom or VV.

    As for arriving, a dedicated customs and immigration clearance at PER then arriving at SYD/MEL/BNE as a domestic passenger (bypassing MEL/SYD customs/immigration) and breezing out after 22hrs travelling sounds very appealing to me indeed.
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  • mitchimus


    17 Oct, 2017 05:25 pm

    It should be seamless as they are currently building the international facilities at Perth t3. Perth passengers will go through formalities, Melbourne passengers will go to the lounge then back on the far as I'm aware
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  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    17 Oct, 2017 11:05 pm

    What about SYD/BNE pax? They'll have to go through passport control like PER pax as well.

    Although, this is possible when more EU destinations are open. On top of MEL-PER-LHR, they can do BNE-PER-CDG and SYD-PER-FRA with all these flights considered international from the start so you clear immigration and custom in your home port. As long as departure times are similar, you can mix and match.
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  • hutch


    17 Oct, 2017 06:12 pm

    If you are Sydney based, these are all things you will do anyway.

    If you fly SYD-SIN-LHR, you clear customs and security in SYD. You will then go through security in SIN.

    If you fly SYD-PER-LHR, you go through security in Sydney. You will then go through customs and security in PER.

    On the way back:

    LHR-SIN-SYD you go through security in SIN. Then customs in SYD.

    LHR-PER-SYD. You go through customs and security in PER. Arrive in SYD as a domestic passenger (closer to the CBD).

    There are pro's and cons with both. But no more or less interactions with either. But noting, if you clear customs in PER, you will doing so only with Qantas customers. That surely should be quicker than morning peak hour in SYD.
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  • justin.thomas7


    19 Oct, 2017 10:26 pm

    In the fullness of time, I see QF flying MEL-PER-LHR, BNE-PER-CDG and SYD-PER-FRA; with the PER stops coordinated.

    That would mean BNE, SYD and MEL pax would do customs in their home port and not PER. Only other cities (eg ADL, CBR) would have to do the DOM-INT-DOM transfers.

    Having said that, I would prefer to do customs in PER which would save time at the East coast port - particularly on the inbound flight.
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  • Christopher Campbell


    17 Oct, 2017 12:13 pm

    It will be interesting to see how many Qantas can order next year for FY2020/21.

    if they can afford 6 over two FY years some awesome expansion can take place.
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  • Christopher Campbell


    17 Oct, 2017 12:14 pm

    I mean 12 over 2 FY years.
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  • Joe


    17 Oct, 2017 12:45 pm

    What about the mystery of converted Airbus orders in lieu of 8 A380's not being taken up - 10 x A350? (20 x A320/1/'s NEOS even?)
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  • aturnbull


    17 Oct, 2017 05:07 pm

    Now that Airbus has bought C series perhaps they could be used as a replacement for 717s. CS300 would look well in QF colours...
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  • highflyer


    17 Oct, 2017 02:42 pm

    Is it me? Or does QF like to always announce things way ahead and play up the PR spin? Ie new seats, new routes, new aircraft... always seems like a longer lag time than other airlines..
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  • Ryan Hogan


    18 Oct, 2017 07:19 am

    It's not just you, but it does seem to be working as everybody is talking about them!
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  • aggie57


    18 Oct, 2017 09:46 am

    Not just you. But then many of the airlines do the same. It's a but hard to spring an Apple when the planes are in clear view on the line months before going into service
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  • highflyer


    18 Oct, 2017 02:49 pm

    Singapore Airlines seems to do a pretty good job at keeping things under wraps until a product is released. Like their new A380 seating and configuration. I just wish QF would announce once things are in fuition, rather than announce something years ahead when so many things are still uncertain.
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  • reeves35


    17 Oct, 2017 02:50 pm

    Good to see Qantas participating in the age-old Australian business tactic of government rent-seeking. It will fly the 787 out of Sydney if the NSW government coughs up some bucks..... seriously if there's a business case do it, if not don't but stop asking taxpayers to cover your costs.
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  • Packetman21


    17 Oct, 2017 03:46 pm

    Awesome! I think that means that a second 787 order will be coming soon...
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  • Christopher Campbell


    17 Oct, 2017 03:48 pm

    most likely announced at next years full year FY results day
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  • JakeDrake


    17 Oct, 2017 04:51 pm

    Am liking all these drip feeds coming out of David's time with Qantas and Boeing in Seattle. Although, as many others have noted here and elsewhere, most of this is PR rather than anything concrete.
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  • maabbot


    17 Oct, 2017 05:22 pm

    so if 4 787s are based in Brisbane and they are doing the daily BNE-LAX-JFK run, what will the other 2 be doing? Is this the mooted other port in the US?
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  • Christopher Campbell


    17 Oct, 2017 05:30 pm

    yes thats true, either Dallas, Chicago or Seattle.

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  • Morgan Judd


    17 Oct, 2017 05:47 pm

    Chicage would be a game changer
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  • Morgan Judd


    17 Oct, 2017 05:50 pm

    Chicago* sorry...
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  • patrickk


    17 Oct, 2017 05:49 pm

    I saw that AJ has sort of confirmed Chicago with the AFR.
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  • Will Dutton


    17 Oct, 2017 05:50 pm

    It would be Rêveliner
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  • Christopher Campbell


    17 Oct, 2017 06:25 pm

    if the American Airlines JV gets approval could we see the 787 MEL-LAX get moved to DFW?
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  • Annette Hos


    17 Oct, 2017 10:42 pm

    I currently travel frequently from Perth to Sydney transitting for international flights to north and south america and this is standard practice- works seamlessly so nothing to be concerned about. Head office for me is in Paris so this is definitely an exciting prospect- non stop Perth to Paris- couldnt be happier!
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  • timster


    18 Oct, 2017 03:31 pm

    Last time I flew into CDG with QF it was MEL-SIN-FRA-CDG in the early 1990's on a 747. I can't see daily demand for a 17-hour PER-CDG, but who knows.
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    18 Oct, 2017 05:45 pm

    I'm surprised that so many people aren't bothered by the length of these ULH flights. I'd gladly give up a weekend to stop somewhere and rest. I don't care what class of service you're in, 18+ hours straight on an airplane sucks!!
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  • Carrie Price


    18 Oct, 2017 07:08 pm

    Clearly as a F flyer from MEL to CDG and LHR, I am not the target demographic for QF.
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  • Ric OSHEA


    18 Oct, 2017 07:30 pm

    I live in Brisbane but the idea of a non-stop flight to LHR is very appealing. I recently did BNE/DXB/LHR and it took a total of 27 hours if I don't count the travel and waiting time at BNE at one end and LHR at the other.

    I'm fortunate that I have family in Perth and can break my travel for a couple of days if I wish. it also takes out any missed connection issues. The price for J class looks good but based on the exorbitant cost of a business class flight from BNE to PER it might be interesting to see if I can fly the 787 from Brissie at a lesser cost. I looking at early 2019.
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  • Brayden


    18 Oct, 2017 07:41 pm

    Loving how Qantas is thinking about Perth again
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  • frankabagnale


    18 Oct, 2017 09:48 pm

    I live in BNE, and a BNE-PER-CDG would be very appealing, particularly because:
    * when I fly to Europe, UK is not usually my final destination. I hate transiting at LHR which tends to have the longest security queues and delays; transit at CDG would be much more preferable
    * I am a dual Australian-EU citizen. With the UK leaving the EU, I would prefer to be touching down in the EU.
    * I prefer the long PER-Europe flight rather than connecting at DXB because late departures from point of departure in either direction has led to missed connections in DXB resulting in a 24-hour unplanned stopover in Dubai. I'd rather spend the time at point of departure.
    * Hoping for some nice French wines and cheese on the CDG flights!
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  • Himeno


    19 Oct, 2017 02:18 pm

    Without a new air service agreement, Australia doesn't have daily rights to mainland france when using the current or proposed aircraft.

    Mainland France rights are 'units' which are based on seating capacity of aircraft used. 747/A380 sized aircraft are allowed 3 flights/week under the current agreement.
    The QF 787 seat plan would allow 6 flights to France each week.
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24 Jul, 2019 07:19 pm


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