Under the new schedule, the 787-9 will replace the 747-400 on the daily QF15/16 Brisbane-Los Angeles service. The aircraft will then operate a Los Angeles-New York JFK-Los Angeles rotation.
To offset the reduction in available seats on QF15/16 – the 787-9 has 236 seats compared with 364 seats on the 747-400 – Qantas is adding an extra three flights a week between Brisbane and Los Angeles with the 747-400.
The three flights will operate as QF55/56 and have been scheduled as a late afternoon departure from Brisbane and an overnight service from Los Angeles.
As a result of the changes, from September 1 Qantas will have 2,744 one-way seats between Brisbane and Los Angeles, an increase of eight per cent from 2,548 seats currently.
Meanwhile, the number of Qantas premium economy and business seats is rising by 17 per cent to 772 one-way seats per week, from 658 seats currently, owing to the more premium-heavy configuration of the 787-9.
Qantas has configured its 787-9 to carry 236 people, with 42 seats in business class in a 1-2-1 configuration offering direct aisle access for every passenger, 28 in premium economy laid out 2-3-2 across and 166 in economy in a 3-3-3 layout with 32in seat pitch and 17.2in seat width.
Its 747-400s have 364 seats comprising 58 SkyBed seats in business, 36 seats premium economy and 270 in economy.
The 747-400 will then disappear from the route completely from December 1, with the 787-9 to operate on Brisbane-Los Angeles 11 times a week.
While there will be a capacity increase on Brisbane-Los Angeles, there will be a 35 per cent reduction in seats on Qantas’s tag flight between Los Angeles and New York JFK due to the downgauge from the 747-400 to 787-9.
Qantas said in August 2017 it would base four 787-9s at Brisbane Airport, with the aircraft to be in the fleet by the end of 2018.
At the time, the airline was keen to highlight the potential of a new long-haul route from Brisbane thanks to the next generation Boeing widebody.
“We’ve said that initially our Dreamliners will replace the routes that our older 747s fly but there are also new destinations we are looking at given the capability of the aircraft,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said at the time.
“A range of exciting options is on the table that will help drive tourism to the state and we look forward to making that decision in coming months.”
Qantas’s August announcement noted the 787-9 was capable of flying from Brisbane to Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver in North America, in addition to operating Asian routes.
While the revised schedule for Brisbane-Los Angeles represented only the replacement of 747-400 routes so far, there was enough room in the flying schedule of the four Brisbane-based 787-9s to potentially also launch a new route, albeit one that was likely to be less than daily.
Virgin Australia is the only other airline offering nonstop flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles.
A summary of Qantas’s Boeing 787-9 Brisbane-Los Angeles-New York JFK and Boeing 747-400 Brisbane-Los Angeles schedule from September 1 2018
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival
|Boeing 787-9 services|
QF 15 Brisbane-Los Angeles
QF 11 Los Angeles-New York JFK
QF 12 New York JFK-Los Angeles
QF16 Los Angeles-Brisbane
|Boeing 747-400 services|
QF 55 Brisbane-Los Angeles
Monday, Thursday, Saturday
QF 56 Los Angeles-Brisbane
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
|*From December 1, QF55/56|
increases to four flights a week
and switches to the 787-9