Qantas, like British Airways, is synonymous with the Queen of the Skies. Most childhood memories of Qantas will involve sighting one of these majestic beasts.
However, the airline has announced an order for six additional Boeing 787-9s to fly on its international network, bringing its fleet of Dreamliners to 14 by the end of 2020.
The arrival of the new aircraft will (sadly) enable the airline to accelerate retirement of its last six Boeing 747s – an aircraft type that has been in its fleet in various forms since 1971.
The airline acknowledges that this is the end of an iconic era for the airline, but looks to the future too. “The jumbo has been the backbone of Qantas International for more than 40 years and we’ve flown almost every type that Boeing built. It’s fitting that its retirement is going to coincide with our centenary in 2020,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said.
“Over the years, each new version of the 747 allowed Qantas to fly further and improve what we offered passengers. The Dreamliners are now doing the same thing. The 787 has better economics and a longer range, and its already opened up new routes like Perth to London. With a larger fleet of Dreamliners, we’ll be looking at destinations in the Americas, Asia, South Africa and Europe,” Mr. Joyce continued.
While we love the 787, we’ve taken this as an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the 747, and its wonderful history at Qantas. Take a look at our Big Picture gallery below to reminisce over the history.