Qantas will have four of its new B787-9 Dreamliners based in Brisbane by the end of 2018, potentially opening the way for new international routes from the Queensland capital.
The Australian flag carrier currently has a total of eight Dreamliners on order, with the first expected to be delivered in late October. This will fly domestic routes before making its international debut on the airline’s Melbourne-Los Angeles route on December 15.
However travellers to and from Brisbane will have to wait until mid-2018 to see the aircraft, which will be the airline’s fifth following deployment of the first four in Melbourne. All four Brisbane Dreamliners will be in place by the end of next year.
“Queensland is the birthplace of Qantas and it’s fitting that we will base four of our Dreamliners in the state,” said Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce. “The B787 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.”
The deployment is good news for travellers. While initially planned to replace the airline’s older B747s, which Qantas began preparing to retire earlier this month, Joyce said the carrier is also looking at new destinations “given the capability of the aircraft”.
In a statement about the redeployment, Qantas noted that Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and Vancouver are all destinations capable of being flown to by the Dreamliner, along with Asia.
That said, the airline has not confirmed precisely which destinations it is considering. “A range of exciting options is on the table that will help drive tourism to the state and we look forward to making that decision in the coming months,” Joyce added.
Currently, Qantas flies 58 return, direct international services from Brisbane each week. These include flights to Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Noumea, Port Moresby, Singapore and Tokyo.