Qantas is to retime its Heathrow to Melbourne connection, meaning an evening arrival in Australia and more westbound connections from the Dubai stopover.
QF10 currently leaves Heathrow at 2225, arriving in Melbourne via Dubai at 0525 two days later. QF9 departs Melbourne at 1915 or 1935, arriving in London around 1000, one day later.
From July 20, timings will change to allow better utilisation of the Airbus A380 used on these services. QF9 will leave Melbourne at 2255, stopping over in Dubai at 0705 before landing in London at 1340.
On the return journey, QF10 will leave London at 1330, landing in Dubai at 2325. It will arrive in Melbourne at 2055, one day after take-off (the current schedule means arrival is two calendar days after departure from London).
Qantas says the schedule change means it can now offer 17 onward connections to Europe with partner carrier Emirates instead of four, due to the new arrival time of the Melbourne flight into Dubai. These now include Athens, Hamburg, Prague, Copenhagen, Milan, Rome, Dusseldorf, Moscow, St Petersburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Geneva, Nice, Vienna, Paris and Zurich.
The changes are to allow greater use of the A380 double decker on the Sydney-Dallas route, currently flown by a Boeing 747.
From September 29, the QF7/8 flight from Sydney to Dallas will become an all A380 route, meaning that there will be a first class option between Sydney and Dallas. The longer range of the A380 means that on the homeward leg to Australia, the Brisbane refuelling stop can be dispensed with, cutting the journey time.
The use of the A380 means a 10 per cent increase in capacity despite a reduction in frequency from daily to six a week.
Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said: "As part of our strategy to build a stronger Qantas, we’re reducing the amount of time our domestic and international fleet spend on the ground.
"Aircraft are one of our biggest fixed costs and maximising the amount of time they spend in the air is good news for our customers and for Qantas – especially when it comes to the A380."
The Qantas service will technically take the crown for the longest A380 flight. This is currently held by Emirates, which says that its Dubai-Los Angeles service is the lengthiest at 16 hours and 20 minutes.
Qantas' Dallas-Sydney route will be timetabled at 16 hours 50 minutes; however, this includes a fuel stop at Brisbane. The Sydney-Dallas leg will be non-stop at 15 hours 30 minutes.