Qantas is planning to fly domestic Boeing 747 flights later this year. The carrier has scheduled flights to three destinations during the Australian summer of 2019 to 2020.
Qantas is slowly phasing its Boeing 747s out of service before they’re retired altogether by the end of next year. In fact, the carrier recently axed the 747 on transpacific flights to the US. As such, the domestic flights scheduled could be part of a farewell tour for the aircraft. British Airways is this summer also allegedly scheduling domestic Boeing 747 flights as part of its centenary year celebrations.
Backbone of Qantas
For years, the Boeing 747 has been the workhorse of the Qantas fleet. Indeed, the aircraft has made many, many return journeys on the Sydney to London route. However, now Qantas is planning to launch non-stop flights on the route, an initiative dubbed Project Sunrise, and is looking for a new aircraft to do it.
The Boeing 747 was once a record-breaking aircraft for Qantas. In 1989, the Australian flag carrier flew a Boeing 747 non-stop between London and Sydney with 16 passengers onboard. Traveller.com.au states that the aircraft was towed to the runway where the fuel tanks were topped off.
The aircraft had 183.5 tonnes of a special blend of high-density fuel onboard. Reports suggest that after a 20 hour and 9 minute flight, the aircraft’s fuel warning light came on just prior to touchdown.
Domestic 747 Flights
Qantas is scheduled to operate four domestic return flights with the Boeing 747 according to Routes Online. This will include trips from Sydney to Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. Adelaide and Brisbane will get one return journey, while Melbourne will get two return trips from Sydney.
The flights are scheduled for the following dates (all times local):
- On 9th November QF524 will depart Sydney at 1200. The flight will touch down in Brisbane at 1230.
- On 11th November QF529 will depart Brisbane at 1205. The flight will touch down in Sydney at 1440.
- On 23rd November QF743 will depart Sydney at 1840. The flight will touch down in Adelaide at 2015.
- On 25th November QF736 will depart Adelaide at 1235. The flight will touch down in Sydney at 1500.
- On 31st December QF417 will depart Sydney at 0830. The flight will touch down in Melbourne at 1005.
- On 1st January 2020 QF438 will depart Melbourne at 1400. The flight will touch down in Sydney at 1525.
- On 15th February 2020 QF439 will depart from Sydney at 1400. The flight will touch down in Melbourne at 1535.
- On 17th February 2020 QF400 will depart Melbourne at 0600. The flight will touch down in Sydney at 0725
Other domestic Boeing 747 flights
Air India was planning to use its Boeing 747s for domestic flights, however, this idea was scrapped shortly before it was due to commence. British Airways may or may not be operating three domestic Boeing 747 services later this year. The British flag carrier will be celebrating its centenary on the 25th of August and appears to have organised a return flight to Manchester, Newcastle, and Glasgow using the 747.
Environmentalists have been vocal about the decision. However, as a one off to celebrate a special occasion it seems fitting to use the ‘queen of the skies’. The flights will likely operate fairly full, which is surely less damaging than the ghost flights frequently operated for the sake of keeping slots at big airports.
Simple Flying would like to remind readers that, as always, flight schedules can change last minute, so we recommend you book these flights with caution in case of an equipment change. With no official announcements from Qantas, this schedule could just be a mistake. We have contacted Qantas for further comment.
Would you fly on a domestic Boeing 747 flight in Australia? Let us know in the comments.