Qantas will operate the Airbus A380 on its services between Sydney and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) from September 29 this year, as part of network changes that include reducing Sydney-Hong Kong A380 services and the retiming of Melbourne-Dubai-London flights.
The 484-seat, four-class A380 will replace Boeing 747-400ERs which have been operating the DFW services since May 2011, and unlike the 747 is able to operate the return journey from DFW direct to Sydney, negating the need for the current fuel tech-stop in Brisbane. The current daily frequency will be reduced to six times weekly (Tuesday flights will be dropped) but Qantas says the A380 will bring a net 10 per cent increase in capacity on the route, as well as introducing First Class to DFW services.
“Dallas has become an important gateway for Qantas customers since we started flying there in 2011. It is the hub for our partner American Airlines and offers more than 30 destinations beyond the west coast of the United States as well as parts of Canada and Mexico on their network,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said.
“When you combine the A380 with the onward connections available from Dallas, this is a great example of the right aircraft on the right route.”
In a promotional video on the airline’s YouTube channel (see above), Qantas Engineering manager Alan Milne said the A380 was “specifically designed for this long-haul flying,” and that, with the introduction of the A380, “Qantas will once again have the largest aeroplane in the world, on the longest route.” At 13,804km, the Sydney-DFW route is currently recognised as the world’s longest non-stop sector, beating out Delta’s Atlanta-Johannesburg 777-200LR service which is 13,582km, and Emirates’ A380 service between Dubai and Los Angeles at 13,420km.
Qantas has freed up A380 capacity to operate the DFW services thanks to unspecified “adjustments” to “the mix of A380s and B747s flying on the Sydney to Hong Kong route” and the retiming of its QF9/10 A380 services between Melbourne and London via Dubai.
“We have retimed A380 services between Melbourne and London to create a win-win for both our European and American networks,” Joyce said. “This schedule change unlocks more A380 flying time that we can use on the Dallas route, and now offers four times the number of onward connections to Europe because of the new arrival time of the Melbourne flight into Dubai.”
The retimed Melbourne flights were in part necessitated by runway works at Dubai, but Qantas says Melbourne passengers will be able to connect to 17 Emirates flights within a four hour window, rather than four within four hours under current timings. The retimed Melbourne flights take effect from June 20 and will see QF9 depart Melbourne at 2255, arrive into Dubai at 0705 and then London at 1340. The return QF10 will depart London at 1330, arrive into Dubai at 2325 and land in Melbourne at 2055.