The First Longhaul Qantas 787 Route Will Be Melbourne To Los Angeles

Over the weekend Qantas announced that they’ll begin 787 flights between Perth and London in March 2018, which will be the world’s longest 787 flight, and also the first nonstop flight between Australia and Europe. For whatever reason I was under the impression that this would be Qantas’ first longhaul 787 route, though as it turns out that’s not the case.

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Qantas 787

Qantas will offer 6x weekly Boeing 787-9 flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles as of December 15, 2017, which will be the plane’s first longhaul route.

The 787-9 frequency will replace the 2x weekly 747-400 flight between Melbourne and Los Angeles, and will complement the existing daily A380 service between the two cities.

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Qantas A380

So while the 787 is a lower capacity plane than the 747, the fact that it will operate 6x weekly rather than 2x weekly means there will be a significant net increase in capacity, as Qantas will go from 9x to 13x weekly flights in the market.

The 787-9 will be in a premium heavy configuration, with a total of 236 seats. This includes 42 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 166 economy class seats. Qantas will have modified Vantage XL seats in business class on their 787s, all of which will feature direct aisle access and quite a bit of privacy. It’s similar to the seat they have on their A330s.

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Qantas 787 business class

It’s exciting to hear that Qantas will fly the 787-9 to the U.S., since the business class is a significant improvement over what they offer on their A380s and 747.

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Qantas 747 business class

Tickets for the new flight will go on sale December 25, 2016 — hopefully Qantas has some premium cabin award space on the route (though I’m not holding my breath, since they’re generally quite stingy).

Qantas only has a total of eight firm orders for the 787-9, so given that they’re operating these planes on longhaul flights, don’t expect too many more routes to get the plane.

Comments

  1. Bit bummed. I was expecting MEL-DFW, but maybe it was too risky given the drama with the AA/QF joint venture.

  2. Those business class seats definitely look like like an upgrade from their current business class seats – I flew the A380 SYD > DFW in J a couple of months back, and was not impressed by the seat – despite being labelled as “fully flat”, I found it had a significant slope, and sleeping was difficult.

  3. Qantas is such a great airline and I hope it works out. I’ve spent 15 hours abroad Qantas to the U.S. in economy, without a problem. I’d imagine just two more hours for a direct flight from Oz to the UK would still be appealing for many Brits and Aussies. It’s strange though to think of Perth as a major international gateway into Australia. It’s very far-flung and quite expensive/long to fly from Perth to the East Coast.

  4. This means that just about all the Qantas 787’s are spoken for, right? I think it takes 3 planes to service one ultra-longhaul route like PER-LHR and MEL-LAX, so that’s 6 of the 8 birds spoken for right there. Maybe 2 for a <10 hr route to Asia, like KUL?

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