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Qantas quietly retires its last 767

written by Adam Thorn | May 20, 2024

VH-EFR, as shot by Australian Aviation’s Seth Jaworski.

Qantas has quietly retired its last Boeing 767 from its fleet after the type flew for the carrier for nearly 40 years.

The 18-year-old aircraft, VH-EFR, departed Hong Kong at 9:41pm on 17 May as flight QF7526 and touched down in Sydney at 8:09am the next day.

The 767 was retired from passenger duty in 2014 but the Flying Kangaroo kept one to fly freight services. It comes as the airline begins its biggest overhaul of its domestic, international and cargo aircraft in a generation.

Qantas estimates the 767 carried nearly 168 million passengers on over 927,000 flights after the first arrived in 1985.

In total, Qantas operated 41 Boeing 767s, mostly 767-300ERs, apart from an initial six 767-200ERs and a single 767-300F Freighter (VH-EFR).


The 767 was Qantas’s first wide-body twin and its first twin-engined airliner since retiring the DC-3 decades earlier.

Qantas’s first 767 was 767-200ER VH-EAJ, delivered in July 1985. The first 767-300ER, VH-OGA, followed in September 1988.

Initially, the 767 was used on international flights to New Zealand, Asia and North America. Then, from 1992, with the merger with Australian Airlines, Qantas 767s were also increasingly used for domestic services.

Former Australian Aviation managing editor Gerard Frawley reported on the last passenger flight of the 767, speaking to then-Qantas head of flying operations Captain Mike Galvin and first officer Kirrily Zupp, who were in the cabin.

“It’s a beautiful aeroplane to fly, it’s very reliable, and it has been very well maintained over the years,” said Galvin ahead of the final flight.

“It’s a joy for pilots to fly. It has a lot of thrust, and it gets up and goes. It can be a bit tricky to land, but with more good ones [landings] than not-so-good ones.”

First Officer Zupp said, “It’s a beautiful aircraft to fly, it’s reliable, it’s solid and it has done such great work for Qantas over the years. Everyone will miss it.”

The news comes after Australian Aviation reported in October how Qantas unveiled its latest A330-200, which it converted from a passenger aircraft into a freighter.

VH-EBF, named Hercules, flew its last commercial flight in November 2022 before heading to Dresden, Germany, for its conversion to a P2F (passenger-to-freighter).

The A330’s arrival forms part of a major overhaul of Qantas Freight’s aircraft that will see it create nine new A321 P2Fs, taking its final fleet to 12. It’s also planning to receive one more A330 P2F.

“The newly converted A330-200P2F aircraft doubles the volume of Australia Post’s largest current freighter,” said Australia Post.

“Providing 130 tonnes of capacity each night, initially, the new freighter will operate between the east coast and Perth, carrying StarTrack and Express Post parcels.

“This investment marks a major milestone in Australia Post’s commitment to enhancing its delivery network and will increase overall peak capacity by 29 per cent.

“The new freighter will reduce Australia Post’s aircraft emissions by replacing a B737F, which will be retired from the fleet.

“Producing 42 per cent less carbon emissions per kilogram of cargo than the B737F, the extensive capacity of the A330 requires less fuel for each parcel carried.”

The Flying Kangaroo’s overhaul of freighter aircraft is part of a wider fleet renewal program that will transform its domestic and international aircraft.

Internationally, Qantas will receive 12 new 787 Dreamliners and 12 Airbus A350s to replace the bulk of its ageing A330 fleet, alongside a separate order for 12 specially adapted A350-1000 jets to launch Project Sunrise.

Domestically, the airline will purchase 20 Airbus A321XLRs and 29 A220-300s to fly its domestic routes, but with the option to buy many more.

Subsidiary brand Jetstar has already begun welcoming its new fleet of 38 A320neos, comprised of 18 A321LRs and 20 A321XLR aircraft – an even longer-range variant.

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