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Qantas: Another 747 bites the dust – 787 on Sydney – San Francisco route from December

Qantas: Another 747 bites the dust – 787 on Sydney – San Francisco route from December

Qantas announced today that from 4 December 2019, passengers on the Sydney to San Francisco route will be on a B787 Dreamliner instead of one of their ageing 747 Jumbos.

Upper deck – huge storage bins on the right.

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, 747’s got to go!

I recently travelled on one of the 747’s to Santiago, and boy are they showing their age. I used to love being up in the bump in business class, with that excellent side storage, and the intimate cabin. This time, all I could do was see the wear and tear, and some fittings almost being held together with gaffer tape (I am exaggerating!).

Grotty, tired fittings

“The 747 has been the backbone of our international fleet for more than 40 years, so it will be the end of an era and the start of another when we farewell the Queen of the Skies from flying to mainland America.”

Qantas International Acting CEO Naren Kumar

The retirement of the 747’s can’t come soon enough. They have done good service, but now is their time to retire to pasture, and by pasture, I mean a desert scrapheap or repurposing for cargo or something.

Remember when these used to hold a little posy of everlasting Australian native flowers ?

The triumph of the Dreamliner

Qantas has eight 787-9s in its current fleet, with six more arriving from October 2019. That will bring the Dreamliner fleet to 14 by the end of 2020. The quicker they arrive, the quicker the retirement of the remaining Boeing 747s.

That smile is because he isn’t travelling in a 747.

The Dreamliners carry 236 passengers across three cabins (Economy, Premium Economy and Business). It features the latest version of the airline’s Business Suite and next generation Premium Economy seat and an ‘improved’ Economy seat with extra storage compartments and more legroom – claims Qantas.

Business class suites – Qantas Dreamliner

I haven’t been on the Qantas Dreamliner, (although I have been on a Qatar and a LATAM Dreamliner), and I don’t have any plans in the near future – but maybe one day . . .

Premium Economy on the Qantas Dreamliner

Total Improvement for San Francisco bound Qantas customers

This will be sooo good for Qantas passengers on this route – new plane, and some great seating in all three classes. With renewed traffic to SF for Silicon Valley, this give them a modern way to travel, including direct aisle access for business class

But look at what they are charging!

I thought I better just check what Qantas are charging for the route – but it doesn’t look like they have been loaded yet, with flights still showing 747’s:

Here, you would pay AU$7,665 on United for a berth on a 787, and AU$10,177 on Qantas for an aged ‘Queen of the Sky’ 747 with old Marc Newson Skybeds – WTF?

Here is what it looks like more normally:

On that basis, I think i would endure the 2h 45m layover in AKL!

On like for like – the competition is between United and Qantas. I’m not sure I would be prepared to pay nearly AU$400 more for Qantas – even if it is a Dreamliner rather than a 747 as listed.

Take out

The replacement by Qantas of the 747 with the 787 on the Sydney to San Francisco route is a vast improvement in terms of comfort and quality of the hard product. However – is it competitive with other airlines? I don’t think so.

Qantas must be betting on the success of its Dreamliner flights direct Perth to London – but in that specific route it has no competition. On SYD to SFO, it does, and I’m not sure they will continue to be able to charge those prices – although I bow to their superior data. I expect they know that these prices are sustainable, even though I remain sceptacle.

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