As Qantas continues scaling back the use of its Boeing 747-400 aircraft on transpacific routes, a spokesperson from the airline has confirmed to AirlineGeeks that another U.S. route will see the jumbo jet disappear this summer. On Aug. 28, the Sydney to Honolulu route will revert back to the Airbus A330-300 after seeing service with the 747, with the airline unsure of future plans to bring the aircraft back on the route.
Qantas, earlier this month, announced that its Sydney to San Francisco route would be upgraded to the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the carrier’s new twin-engine flagship. It was previously thought that the Honolulu route would be the final route between the U.S. and Australia to feature a Qantas 747 once San Francisco’s changeover to the Dreamliner was finalized; however, a Qantas spokesperson confirmed that current plans call for San Francisco to be the last U.S. destination to receive the aircraft.
The downward trend for transpacific Boeing 747 travel on Qantas first began over a decade ago in 2008 when the first Qantas Airbus A380 touched down in Los Angeles from Melbourne. Over the next 10 years, Qantas’ services from Los Angeles to Sydney and Melbourne were fully converted from 747 strongholds to next-generation routes utilizing the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Dallas lost its Qantas Boeing 747 service in September 2014 when the Airbus A380 proved more capable to operate the route, currently the seventh longest in the world. The Boeing 747-400ER that previously operated the route sometimes saw fuel stops along the way when the winds didn’t cooperate as the route was already at the upper end of the aircraft’s range.
New York saw its last transpacific Qantas Boeing 747 flights in August 2018 as the Brisbane-Los Angeles-New York flight was upgraded to the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Though one could not fly solely between New York and Los Angeles due to federal cabotage law, the end of Qantas 747 service to New York marked the final transcontinental 747 service between New York and Los Angeles, arguably the country’s most popular air route.
Los Angeles saw its final Qantas Boeing 747 flight in September 2018 on the Los Angeles to Brisbane route shortly after placing the Dreamliner on the full Brisbane to New York route. Following the Honolulu changeover back to the Airbus A330, primarily used by Qantas on flights to Oceania and Asia, San Francisco and Vancouver will be the final two North American destinations to receive the 747.
While San Francisco’s farewell date is scheduled for December, the final 747 flight to Vancouver is yet to be announced, as well as the route’s successor.
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