With delivery of the new Boeing 787-9 approaching, Sydney-based carrier Qantas has announced that four of its 787s will be based in Brisbane, a city in the Australian state of Queensland, upon delivery. Qantas plans on stationing its four other 787s in Melbourne.
The announcement comes after Qantas had previously announced that all of its 787s on order would be based in Melbourne, where budget subsidiary Jetstar also maintains a 787 base.
By basing the aircraft in Brisbane, Qantas is hoping to use the range of the 787-9 to expand its route network. While Qantas has not announced any new routes from Brisbane, the airline did mention that the new 787s would be capable of flying to destinations such as Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Vancouver.
Qantas has also said that the new 787 base would support 470 new jobs in Brisbane, with 120 flight and cabin crew and 350 support jobs.
“Queensland is the birthplace of Qantas, and it’s fitting that we will base four of our Dreamliners in the state. The 787 offers a step-change for customers in terms of comfort and efficiency, and we are pleased Queenslanders will be able to experience them direct from Brisbane,” said Alan Joyce, Chief Executive Officer of Qantas.
Qantas already maintains a large presence in Brisbane, with the airport serving as a hub and major maintenance base for the airline. Qantas flies to many domestic destinations as well as international destinations like Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore from the city and performs heavy maintenance as well as refurbishments for the Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 fleet at its Brisbane base.
Qantas will officially take delivery of its first 787-9 in October and will use the aircraft domestically for training purposes. Beginning December 15, the aircraft will be used on Qantas’ Melbourne to Los Angeles route and then on the Melbourne-Perth-London route beginning March 2018.
The four 787-9s that will be based in Brisbane are anticipated to arrive in Australia between July and November 2018, all while Qantas continues to retire its aging Boeing 747-400 fleet.