Qantas upgrading to Dreamliner on Sydney-San Francisco flights

8 May 2019 by Craig Bright
Qantas Dreamliner - Quokka aircraft

Travellers flying on Qantas’ Sydney-San Francisco route can look forward to an upgraded flight experience starting December 4 when one of the airline’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, takes over the route from the ageing 747-400.

Qantas has been taking delivery of the Dreamliner as it looks to phase out its remaining 747s by the end of next year.

“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,” said Qantas acting CEO, Naren Kumar.

The change of aircraft will mean both Qantas’s Sydney and its Melbourne services to San Francisco will be operated by the Dreamliner. The new Melbourne-San Francisco route has been operated by the 787 since it launched late last year.

Describing the Dreamliner as “the most comfortable aircraft [Qantas has] ever flown”, Kumar added that “customer feedback on the cabin environment, from the seats to the anti-jetlag measures, continues to exceed our expectations”.

For travellers flying the Sydney-San Francisco route, the change of aircraft notably means they can look forward to the airline’s newest seat products in the business, premium economy and economy class cabins.

In particular for business travellers, the Dreamliner offers 42 fully flat business class seats (pictured below) laid out in a staggered, forward-facing, 1-2-1 configuration that provides direct aisle access to all passengers.

Qantas Centre-seat

The 747, by comparison, offers 58 of the airline’s older business class seat products in a mixed 2-2 and 2-3-2 set up.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific recently reviewed the aircraft’s business class seat and service on one of Qantas’s Hong Kong routes.


There is also good news for passengers in the premium economy and economy cabins. Along with the Dreamliner offering a newer seat design, the configurations are also less cramped, offering a 2-3-2 and a 3-3-3 configuration in the premium economy (pictured below) and economy sections, respectively, compared to the 747’s 2-4-2 and 3-4-3 set up.

Qantas B787-9 Dreamline premium economy

It’s also worth noting that the 747 that currently flies to San Francisco isn’t one that offers first class seating, so premium passengers won’t be losing out after the aircraft change.

Qantas currently flies its 787 to five destinations including San Francisco, the others being Los Angeles, New York, London and Hong Kong. The airline has eight Dreamliners in its fleet at the moment, with a further six due to begin arriving starting in October.

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