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Qantas tweaks international schedule with changes to US and Asian routes

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 24, 2018

Qantas is taking the 747-400 off the Sydney-LAX route. (Rob Finlayson)

Qantas plans to add extra services to Japan and the Philippines while scaling back its presence in Beijing and Dallas/Fort Worth as part of changes to its international network.
The airline announced on Tuesday it would increase its Sydney-Osaka Kansai schedule to four flights a week from December 7, compared with three times a week currently. Qantas is the only airline offering nonstop flights between Sydney and Osaka. The route is served with Airbus A330 equipment.
Meanwhile, the airline said it would lift its A330 Sydney-Manila service to daily from October 28, compared with six times a week currently. The airline competes with Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific on the route.
However, its nonstop Sydney-Beijing flight, which launched in January 2017 with A330s, would be reduced to five flights a week from daily. Qantas said it would drop flights on the “lower demand days” of Tuesday and Thursday. Its alliance partner China Eastern and Air China are also on the route.
There were also adjustments to Qantas’s North American network, with Sydney-Honolulu to receive a capacity boost over the summer months when a Boeing 747-400 replaces the A330 that normally serves the route.
The use of the 747-400 between December 7 2018 and Easter 2019 means Qantas will be able to offer premium economy to Honolulu, given its 747s are configured in three classes (business, premium economy and economy) while the A330s have just business and economy.
Qantas’s low-cost carrier unit Jetstar also flies between Sydney and Honolulu, as does Hawaiian Airlines.
In other network changes, Qantas plans to make the Sydney-Los Angeles route an all A380 operation by December 4, compared with six A380 and one 747 service a week currently. Extra flights on the route over December and January will also be flown with A380s, Qantas said.
Also, Qantas customers will have a daily nonstop option between Sydney and San Francisco from December 17, up from six times a week currently.
Offsetting those capacity additions will be a reduction of Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth from a daily service to six nonstop flights a week from February 4.

The changes were “in response to demand and to better utilise its fleet,” Qantas said.
“The adjustments to our international network are part of our strategy of making the best use of our fleet and matching demand by having the right aircraft, on the right route, at the right time,” a Qantas spokesperson said in a statement.
“We’re already seeing strong demand for the end of year holiday period on our services to Los Angeles and Osaka, so we expect the extra capacity to be well received.”
In February, Qantas and American Airlines applied to the US Department of Transportation to deepen their partnership on trans-Pacific routes.
The pair told the DOT the future of Qantas’s nonstop Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) service and American’s Los Angeles-Sydney and Los Angeles-Auckland flights would be at risk should the partnership be knocked back.
The application is the pair’s second attempt to receive approval to work more closely together as part of a proposed revenue-sharing, metal-neutral, joint business agreement. The DOT rejected the first application in November 2016.

Qantas operates the Airbus A330 to Manila, Osaka and Beijing. (Rob Finlayson)

Comments (10)

  • Paul Brisbane


    East coast Europe Qantas that’s my pick, just booked on Emirates from Brisbane to Italy. Can anyone advice why a weekend flight say Friday morning to Vegas and return Monday doesn’t exist so 2 flights a week.

  • Scott W


    747 to HNL……YES!!

  • Kel


    It will be interesting to see if all or some of three RR powered B747s have there retirement postponed like OEB which is still flying and OJM that was finally retired on 31 July 2017.
    The axing of MEL-DBX-LHR released two A380s. One is being utilised MEL-SIN. The other being utilised for the repainting of eight A380s.
    The repainting should be completed before December allowing the A380 to operate SYD-HKG over the holidays which will release the B747 to operate SYD-HKL.
    After the holidays, the A380 will be required for the cabin upgrade until the end of 2020.
    The 5th and 6th B787s from September operating BNE-LAX-JFK will release a B747. You would assume that 25 year old OEB with old seating configuration, will finally be retired then.
    SYD-DFW going six days a week shifts the two day A380 maintenance slot from SYD-LAX to SYD-DFW.
    This cancels the Tuesday B747 SYD-LAX which together with seasonal Friday and Sunday flights which have ceased, releases another B747.
    The seasonal SYD-LAX are now to be operate 357 with an A380. This extra A380 will come from not scheduling A380 heavy maintenance over this period. In the past this allowed SYD-HKG to be operated by A380 which released the B747 to operate the seasonal SYD-YVR. The released SYD-LAX B747 will have to operate the seasonal SYD-YVR.
    The 7th and 8th B787 in December will release the other B747 BNE-LAX plane. This plane could be retired unless there are to be further seasonal flights or an A330 service is upgraded to a B747.
    The 8 B787s were to allow 5 B747s to be retired. It would appear that at least 2 B747s will still have to be kept until A380 cabin upgrade is completed.
    The commence

  • David


    Paul from Brisbane, Qantas has listed LAS as one of the cities they wish to fly to from BNE once they get enough 787’s. This won’t be in the first eight, but it may come in a future batch.

  • PeterL


    Qantas please take note: Why don’t you have Premium Economy(PE) on all your international flights?.
    My friends and I fly OS regularly but you are not getting our dollar as some flights, particularly on the A330, do not have PE seating.
    Also you might want to look at your booking system as the multi-city function rarely works for me, so much so that it annoyed me so much that I booked with Singapore Airlines who’s multi-city function worked perfectly!

  • Craigy


    @ Kel The current Qantas schedule only requires 9 A380 aircraft. They routes are:
    – SYD – LHR (2 aircraft)
    – SYD – LAX (2 aircraft)
    – SYD – DFW (2 aircraft)
    – MEL – LAX (2 aircraft)
    – MEL – SIN (1 aircraft)
    This leaves 3 aircraft spare for routes where demand needs it and heavy maintenance.
    OEB is the oldest B744 in the fleet. I think it will be retired when the Captains Tour is over and B789 takes over the BNE – LAX route. This will release one B744 as the B744 will fly 3 times a week in addition to the B789 service until Dec when the B744 additional flights are replaced with 4 additional B789 services.
    I’m not sure how Qantas are going to manage the B744ER fleet with the current route structure if they retire the 5 RR B744. The route structure breakdown is:
    – SYD – TOK – SYD – JOH (3 aircraft)
    – SYD – SANT (some days 2 aircraft)
    – SYD – SFO (2 aircraft)
    – SYD – HKG (1 aircraft)
    – BNE – LAX (2 aircraft — replaced by B789)
    This suggests 8 aircraft as a minimum. So two RR B744 maybe needed just to maintain the schedule. There are enough A380 to allow the cabin upgrades without affecting the schedule
    It will be interesting to see what Qantas does.

  • Kel


    SYD-LHR requires 3 aircraft
    Departs Syd 15:55 (1) Arrives LHR 6:55 the next day (2).
    Departs LHR 21:15 (2) Arrives SYS 5:10 two days later (4).
    Ten A380s are required to operate the scheduled services.
    SYD-SFO operates 6 times a week with no flight on Tuesday.
    At present this allows SYD-LAX on Tuesday to operate. When this fright is cancelled, SYD-SFO can go daily.
    SYD-SCL operates 4 times a week with the overlap Wednesday evening/ Thursday morning.
    SYD- JNB operates 6 times a week with no flight Wednesday. This covers SYD-SCL overlap.
    This allows 9 B747 to operate the schedule if required with tenth available for heavy maintenance if required or to conduct charters.
    With BNE-LAX-JFK out, this reduces to 7 planes to operate the schedule if required with eighth probably required for heavy maintenance or to conduct charters.
    Eight B747 can operate the December/ January holiday schedule if needed.
    With the A380 operating SYD-HKG, the released B747 could operate 5 times a week SYD-HNL with 2 days to provide maintenance slots.
    The eighth plane (the maintenance plane) has to cover an extra flight to JNB and SCL plus three SYD-YVR flights per week.
    JNB fight can slot into SYD-HND and STD-JNB rotation with SCL overlap to be covered elsewhere.
    If the maintenance plane is added to SCL , there are two SCL planes.
    SYD-SCL operates five times a week with no flights on Monday or Thursday. The Monday and Thursday SYD-YVR can operate in these slots.
    The Saturday SYD-SCL depart SYD 19:15 on Saturday and returns 6:10 on Monday and can be coverer by the long layovers of other flights in SYD.
    A plane from SCL arrives 17:40 on Saturday with the next flight to SCL 12:30 on Sunday. This plane can operate the SYD-YVR Saturday flight. (Alternative, this plane could operate to HND with JNB plane going to YVR to provide a longer turnaround period.)
    A plane from SFO arrives 6:10 on Sunday with the next flight to SFO 17:55 in the evening. This plane can operate the Sunday SCL flight.
    A plane from JNB arrives 15:30 on Sunday with the next flight to HND 21:35 that evening. This plane can operate the Sunday SFO flight.
    A plane from SCL arrives 17:40 on Sunday with the next flight to YVR 19:15 on Monday. This plane can operate the Sunday HND flight.
    As above Saturday YVR fright returns Monday 6:10 and can operate that evening YVR flight.
    The ninth B747 probably will be still here this XMAS and could be used for maintenance or upgrade an A330 service.
    Next year it may be needed if the A380 upgrade program is not halted to allow the three extra A380 services to LAX to operate. The ninth B747 may required to operate these services.

  • nick rodda


    do you guys think Qantas will repaint any 744 ?

  • John Reid


    This is the most informative (as distinct from polemic) comment trail I have seen for a while – bravo to those concerned.
    The reduction in SYD-DFW to 6 days will make potential punters’ planning a bit trickier,

  • AlanH


    Are Kel and Craigy Qantas employees? If not, they should be!!!

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