Select Page

QANTAS: Honolulu flights replace Airbus A330 with Boeing 787 Dreamliner

QANTAS: Honolulu flights replace Airbus A330 with Boeing 787 Dreamliner

From late March, Qantas will be upgrading the aircraft that take you between Sydney and Honolulu, Hawaii from an Airbus A330 to the much more contemporary Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The Honolulu flight aircraft change also modifies premium cabins, allowing passengers to choose Premium Economy.

That is not the only improvement. The Dreamliners also sport a newer version of the Business Suite, which has a retractable privacy panel between the middle pairs of seats. That makes it a little easier to communicate with your partner when travelling together. Given Hawaii’s honeymoon reputation, there are a lot of couples!

The Airbus A330s sport an older version of the seat, where the privacy panel is fixed.

Qantas 787 business class interior [Qantas]
Qantas 787 business class interior [Qantas]

Upgraded Honolulu flights

The Dreamliners on this route are much more premium heavy than the A330s. Look for QF103 and QF104 (5 days a week – excludes Tues and Thurs) if you want to travel on the Dreamliner. The 787s also give more chance of gaining a Business Class seat.

The Dreamliners are configured with 42 Business Class seats, 28 Premium Economy and 166 Economy seats compared to the A330 with 28 Business Class and 269 Economy Class seats.

a glass of red liquid with a lemon and ice
Enough to make the cocktail suitable for drinking any time of day – a Bloody Mary [Seat 2B/2PAXfly]

Upgraded Lounge self-service

In 2022, Qantas tricked up the Honolulu International Business lounge catering to provide a better breakfast buffet for the morning departure of QF104 to Sydney. Don’t get too excited, we are talking self-service Bloody Marys and Mimosas. I have never understood the attraction of champagne and orange! On the other hand, a Bloody Mary is a drink suitable for any time of the day!

Competitors on Honolulu flights: Hawaiian Airlines and Jetstar

From Sydney three airlines fly direct to Hawaii. Other than Qantas there is Jetstar and Hawaiian.

If you are happy with a recline-only seat in Business Class, Jetstar is an OK option. However, its JQ3 flight runs overnight, leaving Sydney at 4:20 pm and arriving at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) at 5:30 am Hawaiian time.

The other option for lie-flat seats in Business class is Hawaiian Airlines. HA452, using an Airbus A330, departs Sydney at a respectable 9:40 pm for its almost 10-hour flight, arriving mid-morning in Hawaii at 11:30 am local time.

two women in uniform in an airplane
Hawaiian Airlines Business Class A330 [Hawaiian Airlines]

2PAXfly Takeout

The change in aircraft used by Qantas on Sydney to Honolulu flights represents the triumph of comfort over capacity. Total seats available are 61 down using the 787, which has 236 seats across three cabin classes versus 297 across two classes with the A330. However, there is an increase in premium seats. Business Class capacity rises from 28 on the A330 to 42 on the 787. The Dreamliner also introduces 28 premium economy seats.

The reduction in capacity and increase in premium seats intrinsic to the aircraft swap may also better reflect the change in customer demand on this route, with a greater number of passengers happy to part with more dollars for premium seating.


  1. Henry

    HA took delivery of their first 787.

    I suspect it’s going on the HNL-SYD route.

    • 2paxfly

      Hi Henry, thanks for your comment. I know this has been rumoured, but I currently can’t see the evidence for it. The initial schedules for the first HA 787 are between the island and the USA mainland (SFO, LAX, and PHX). The current A330 is scheduled on the route at least through until October. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but just, other than the aircraft arrival and capability, there is no evidence for it.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Previously . . .

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates about 2PAXfly.

Reviews, deals, offers, and most of all opinion will be in your inbox.

We won't spam you, and we won't share your details with others.

Newsletter Regularity

You have Successfully Subscribed!