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Qantas And The 747  
User currently offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2090 posts, RR: 3
Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 11144 times:

Qantas is one of the few airlines to have flown all passenger types of the 747 (and bought all of those except the 747-100). At one point it was an all 747 airline after the retirement of the 707.

My question is, why Qantas never bought any of the mid-size longhaul widebodies? In the 1970s or 1980s it could have ordered DC-10-30 or L1011-385-500 aircraft for long, thin routes. Again, in the late 1980s/early 1990s it could have ordered the MD-11 or A340. And in the mid to late 1990s, despite being one of the airlines that worked with Boeing on the 777, it never ordered any. Only with the 787s in the 2010s are we likely to see QF operating long, thin routes with aircraft smaller than the 747.

What made QF stick with a 747 fits all philosophy? Partly it must have been bilaterals (for example QF couldn't operate flights via all the previous locations its multi-stop flights used to serve). But couldn't a smaller L/H widebody have allowed QF to serve South Amercia sooner? To look at more nonstop destinations in the USA (e.g. a sooner return to SFO). FCO wasa three times weekly flight - could a smaller aircraft have allowed more frequency, perhaps other destinations too in Europe?


Let's Go British Caledonian!
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 10986 times:

A question to respond to your question: Has Qantas ever shown any regret at operating 747s and have they ever indicated a wish that they'd bought something else to operate in place of the 747s? The simplest answer to your question would appear to be that Qantas made a business decision and from all indications it was a good one. The distances involved and the passenger loads expected probably made the 747 the ideal choice and, perhaps, at the time there just wasn't anything else that filled the bill nearly as well.


Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineDddale From Australia, joined Sep 2007, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 10743 times:



Quoting FlyCaledonian (Thread starter):

What made QF stick with a 747 fits all philosophy? Partly it must have been bilaterals (for example QF couldn't operate flights via all the previous locations its multi-stop flights used to serve). But couldn't a smaller L/H widebody have allowed QF to serve South Amercia sooner? To look at more nonstop destinations in the USA (e.g. a sooner return to SFO). FCO wasa three times weekly flight - could a smaller aircraft have allowed more frequency, perhaps other destinations too in Europe?

Qantas did fly the B767-300ER to Rome and, Hong Kong and Singapore. The flights to Rome with the 767 ended around 1997 I believe. Qantas was still flying the 767 to Singapore and Hong Kong after 2000.


User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8374 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 10692 times:
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Qantas primary mission in teh jet age has been to serve two destinations, LHR and California. Everythig else is to support that or a lesser destination in the same region. The 747 and now the A380 are the airplanes for taking as many people as possible over such long distances. AS the 747 became more advanced the Bahrain stop was eliminated form the SYD-(SIN or Bangkok)-LHR with teh 743 and continued being one stop with teh 744. LAX to OZ of course went nonstop with the 744. LHR to OZ nonstop seems 10 years away but SYD to the US midwest or east coast seems viable with a 787-9 or 777LR.

User currently offlineETA Unknown From Comoros, joined Jun 2001, 2077 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 10681 times:

Actually you answered your own question- QF bought 2 SP's for long-thin routes. Then came the A330's to fill the 767-747 gap.

Technically, QF did buy a 747-100. It was secondhand and leased to FJ. QF also subleased an EI 747-100 for a peak summer season one year.


User currently offlineThegeek From Australia, joined Nov 2007, 2638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 10657 times:



Quoting FlyCaledonian (Thread starter):
Qantas is one of the few airlines to have flown all passenger types of the 747 (and bought all of those except the 747-100).

That's only because there's only a few airlines which bought the 747-300, which had a short time in the market.

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Thread starter):
But couldn't a smaller L/H widebody have allowed QF to serve South Amercia sooner?

There was no plane which could do this before the A342, and that's a bit of a dog. It's also only one route, 3x weekly.

But to answer your question more generally, in the 70s and 80s QF were a small airline which flew only international routes. The advantage of commonality of have 2 747SPs vs 2 DC-10s would have outweighed any advantage that the latter had over former. And besides, the DC-10 couldn't fly that far really.


User currently offlineAlitaliaDC10 From Australia, joined Dec 2008, 240 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 10637 times:



Quoting Dddale (Reply 2):
Qantas did fly the B767-300ER to Rome and, Hong Kong and Singapore.

QF never operated regular scheduled 767s to FCO or to any European station. It was always 747s - the last type to FCO operated was the 744 routing as SYD-SIN-FCO prior to terminating services in SEP03. Prior to that is was mainly 743s with cargo restrictions when it routed as SIN-FCO.



Orbis non sufficit
User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7531 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 10540 times:

QF have as many as 29 763ERs. The oldest, VH-OGA, was delivered to them almost 21 years ago in August 1988. So with its much newer fleet of 333s it has quite a significant number of smaller widebodies.

User currently offlineDJMEL From Australia, joined Oct 2008, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10221 times:

Fleet Commonality and the fact that QF was the only international designated Australian based carrier up until September 1993 when AN flew DRW/MEL/PER/SYD - DPS with B767 from there Domestic Ops.

Up until 1985 when they introduced 6 Pratt & Whittney Boeing 767-238ER.

I remenber the good ole days flying domestically on the Boeing 747, thanks to Dad being employed by the flying kangaroo, I flew on every variant of the Jumbo Qantas operated - pre 747-400ER

(744) - 747-400
(743) - 747-300
(747) - 747-200
(74M) - 747-200 Combi
(74L) - 747 SP


User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10180 times:
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Quoting ETA Unknown (Reply 4):
Actually you answered your own question- QF bought 2 SP's for long-thin routes.
that would seem a reasonable assumption, but no , as incredible as it may seem they actually bought them to operate into the short runway at WLG , hardly a long route from Australia , it was only later in their lives with QF that they were used on long thin routes .

[Edited 2009-07-13 23:54:30]

[Edited 2009-07-13 23:58:47]


Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 10121 times:

Also, look at the fact that on the premium routes QF offers, they have VERY few competitors on them. The LHR route is becoming more competitive with advent of VS and a few Middle Eastern carriers, but until recently, they had almost absolutely no other competition on the Australia-US runs, and AA feeds SO much traffic to them, it's incredible. In fact, until recently, the fares on these routes have been SO high. With DL and Virgin Australia, the fares have dipped as low as the 700-900 dollar range, but should be expected to rise with the Australian summer.

The 777 at the time would really serve no purpose to QF other than domestic routes and possibly NRT. They were hoping, and so was Boeing, that the 777LR would be able to do SYD-LHR nonstop, but it isn't capable of doing it economically, in fact, I don't think it's capable of doing it at all in a normal configuration.

The A330 seems to be used on less prized routes. The 747 was pretty much perfect as it could reach the west coast, and LHR/Europe with only one stop. The 744ER was great because they could now operate without any weight restrictions.

The 767 routes seem to be medium haul, east to west coast Australia routes and possibly AKL, though I think they've flown them to HNL as well and continued on to LAX. I would have loved more than anything to see a 777 flying in QF's colors, but I can see why it doesn't fit their model. The routes that they would use that aircraft for now require much more capacity and payload. The 773ER is a possibility in my mind, but I doubt it will happen.

I'm not sure on this, but the possibly could have been an ETOPS issue as well, at the time, on routes that it would make sense, like SYD-EZE or SYD-SCL, SYD-JNB.

Just for fun, I snapped this in 2000. QF 767 behind the Concorde at HKG:



UAL

[Edited 2009-07-14 00:15:42]

[Edited 2009-07-14 00:23:05]

User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 10086 times:



Quoting FlyCaledonian (Thread starter):
In the 1970s or 1980s it could have ordered DC-10-30 or L1011-385-500 aircraft for long, thin routes. Again, in the late 1980s/early 1990s it could have ordered the MD-11 or A340. And in the mid to late 1990s, despite being one of the airlines that worked with Boeing on the 777, it never ordered any.

On this note too, Australia is so isolated that the long thin routes of the 70's and 80's weren't really capable with these aircraft either. Plus, back then, it was less about frequency and more about capacity. The rest of the world has been slowly catching up with the US on their "frequency" fad, and I just don't think the time was ever right for QF to operate anything smaller than a 747 on long routes, and anything bigger than an A330 on thinner routes.

UAL


User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 10076 times:
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Quoting UAL747 (Reply 10):
The 767 routes seem to be medium haul, east to west coast Australia routes and possibly AKL, though I think they've flown them to HNL as well and continued on to LAX

I dont remember QF flying them to LAX but for a very short time they did fly them SYD-HNL-YVR and SYD-HNL-YYZ ( IIRC , from around the time when CP left OW because it got taken over by AC until the downturn in the aftermath of 11 September 2001 )

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 10):
I would have loved more than anything to see a 777 flying in QF's colors, but I can see why it doesn't fit their model.

Up to a point I agree with you , but you do have to wonder why QF spent so much energy inputting into the 'working together' group during the development of the 777 , at some point they must have seen it as having potential for them .



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User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 10055 times:

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 12):
Up to a point I agree with you , but you do have to wonder why QF spent so much energy inputting into the 'working together' group during the development of the 777 , at some point they must have seen it as having potential for them .

I think the initial range was the problem...though I do remember for years everyone on here speculating when they were going to get them. They were the only carrier that helped in that project that didn't buy it. Also, I think Boeing really wanted an Aussie representative flying the aircraft too.

Also, remember the first thought in the 777 program was a replacement for the DC-10-30ER and the L1011. If my theory is correct about those aircraft and QF, then I would assume they thought the same about the 777. I'm trying to remember what the markets were doing and QF's financial position at the time of the 772ER availability that could have affected them as well.

Someone knows the answer here, probably just not up at this hour.

UAL

[Edited 2009-07-14 00:21:52]

User currently offlineVC10DC10 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 1036 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9344 times:

I'm far from an expert on this subject, but I thought I might chime in with a couple of points:

1. Until the mid- to late- 1980s the 747-200 was longer-ranged than anything else on the market (except of course the 747SP) -- the era of smaller but longer-ranged aircraft really came with the 767-200ER in 1984 (El Al to LAX) and the 767-300ER in 1986 (with American). Until the middle Eighties, then, if you wanted maximum range, you wanted a 747.

2. Although I've not seen the figures, I would imagine that Qantas would benefit from the 747's greater cargo capacity than the L1011 TriStar and DC-10.

3. Purely from a hazy memory of an "Asia Yearbook 1980" or something (published by the Far Eastern Economic Review back when the latter was still a weekly business and political news magazine), I seem to recall that in the economic slump of the early Eighties Qantas found itself with more 747s than it really wanted, but that the secondhand market for all widebody aircraft was so poor that "dumping" the Boeing and buying Lockheeds or Douglases made no sense at all. Sorry for the vagueness of my citation -- I'd find the original, but my father threw out his old Far Eastern Economic Reviews years ago....


User currently offlineETA Unknown From Comoros, joined Jun 2001, 2077 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9255 times:

The QF 767-300's did in fact serve LAX and SFO briefly just before that station was suspended. Typical routing was SFO-LAX-HNL-NAN-SYD.

User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9184 times:
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Quoting ETA Unknown (Reply 15):
The QF 767-300's did in fact serve LAX and SFO briefly just before that station was suspended. Typical routing was SFO-LAX-HNL-NAN-SYD.

thanks , I never knew that , very slow way to get from SYD to SFO - do you know why they had the additional stops in NAN and LAX ?



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User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9173 times:



Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 16):
thanks , I never knew that , very slow way to get from SYD to SFO - do you know why they had the additional stops in NAN and LAX ?

I would imagine it was more of a tourist route and a way to utilize the 767-300. I'd bet that most people didn't fly the entire route, but what it probably allowed you to do was to stay on QF in any portion of that journey. Just a guess though.

UAL


User currently offlineVHTJE From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 373 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 8790 times:
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Let's not forget TN had 5 A300s when QF took them over.

Aside from subleases, I don't think QF ever sent them overseas though.


User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3213 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 8727 times:

I think a lot of you are underestimating the Role the 767-300 played in the QF fleet for most of its life there.

Up until the late 90s, the 767-300 was very much 'an Asian aircraft'. It was basically only used on repositioning flights domestically and for some extra capacity to perth... but basically it was used for long haul flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Bali, Hong Kong, Manila and to link Cairns with the Japanese cities.

Now some of you who live outside the Asia Pacific region may think of these as regional flights... but I may point out that these flights are the same length as many transatlantic flights or plenty of say Brasil or Agentina to the USA. Hardly short haul by any means. But for Qantas... it had plenty of flights that were just simply even longer.

It had been argued in Australia at the time that Qantas could have been serving more cities like Amsterdam, Paris or Zurich and make success stories out of these places with a DC-10 sized aircraft. And the failure to do so paved the way for carriers like Thai International and Malaysia Airlines to make success stories out of some of these markets. Qantas was often the dominate airline or a dominate airline in most of the markets it historically served so there is some strenght in this. However the flip side of this coin... is that KLM, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Olympic, Air France and even JAT all pulled out of Australia also... and many of them did in fact have the smaller aircraft on hand if needed.

Another factor is historically, the cost in terms of an average persons income to fly on the routes Qantas was much higher then it is today. The 747 still offered the lowest seat mile costs and with that ment Qantas costs were lower in an era were frequency wasn't as important. You didn't need to serve daily...and if the price difference was enough plenty of people would change their travel plans. Remember this was in the background of the 707 being replaced by the 747, and the huge associated price savings that came with it. We could be talking a months wages per ticket difference here.

Last but not least. Qantas was considered an arm of the Australian government and a simple of national stenght and prestige. It didn't have to make a profit. It just had to make us look good on the international stage, and enjoying protect status, it could be engineered to operate with a profit this way most of the time. And while we're talking prestige, it was always more so on "the Jumbo' then on some smaller jet.


User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 8657 times:
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How many people remember the days when when QF used to advertise itself as 'The worlds only all 747 airline ' ? IIRC they retired the last 707s somewhere around 1978 or 1979 and until the arrival of the 767 around 1985/1986 ( ?) QF had only 747s - I was about to say that it seems a long time ago , and then I realised that it really was a long time ago  old 

Quoting VHTJE (Reply 18):
Let's not forget TN had 5 A300s when QF took them over.

I thought that by that point they were down to only 4 .

BTW , for the benefit of younger/non-Australian members before the current TN ( Air Tahiti Nui ) the code TN belonged to Trans Australian Airlines/TAA/Australian Airlines* which was the government owned domestic carrier in Australia until taken over by QF in 1991 .


*not to be confused with the later Australian Airlines when QF briefly recycled the name to use about half a dozen 767s mainly ex Queensland to Japanese destinations.



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User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 8562 times:
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Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 19):
I think a lot of you are underestimating the Role the 767-300 played in the QF fleet for most of its life there.

Up until the late 90s, the 767-300 was very much 'an Asian aircraft'. It was basically only used on repositioning flights domestically and for some extra capacity to perth... but basically it was used for long haul flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Bali, Hong Kong, Manila and to link Cairns with the Japanese cities.

good point , I am embarrassed to admit that I forgot this myself , after all , when the 300ERs were originally introduced they even had First class on them ( in a bizarre arrangement where F was on one side of the aircraft and J on the other with a longitudinal divider between them ! )

I guess in typical Kiwi fashion I tend not to regard anything less than 12 hours as longhaul  Wink



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User currently offlineDitzyboy From Australia, joined Feb 2008, 718 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8122 times:



Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 9):
that would seem a reasonable assumption, but no , as incredible as it may seem they actually bought them to operate into the short runway at WLG , hardly a long route from Australia , it was only later in their lives with QF that they were used on long thin routes .

Did the 74L not operate SYD-LAX-SYD alongside the WLG flights? They were introduced around the same time, AFAIK. This was to compete against Pan Am's non-stop services.

Quoting DJMEL (Reply 8):
Fleet Commonality and the fact that QF was the only international designated Australian based carrier up until September 1993 when AN flew DRW/MEL/PER/SYD - DPS with B767 from there Domestic Ops.

DRW-DPS and PER-DPS was ops by 320s initally, then 733s (as well as 320s in the case of PER, DRW went to all 733). Never 762s out of these ports to DPS. The initial aircraft pattern for these flights in SEP '03 was BNE-DRW-DPS-PER and PER-DPS-DRW-BNE on Saturdays with 320s. DRW eventually grew to 5-7pw with 733s during the night doing DRW-DPS-DRW. Do you remember the BME-DPS-BME flights on the 142s?


User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8019 times:
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Quoting Ditzyboy (Reply 22):
Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 9):
that would seem a reasonable assumption, but no , as incredible as it may seem they actually bought them to operate into the short runway at WLG , hardly a long route from Australia , it was only later in their lives with QF that they were used on long thin routes .

Did the 74L not operate SYD-LAX-SYD alongside the WLG flights? They were introduced around the same time, AFAIK. This was to compete against Pan Am's non-stop services.

I dont think so Ditzy , at least not initially according to the following link

http://www.aussieairliners.org/b-747/vh-eaa/vheaa.html

Operated the inaugural Qantas SP service as QF55 Sydney-Wellington - February 6, 1981 Due bad weather at Wellington flight was diverted to Auckland (Capt D. McKinley)
Ferried Auckland-Wellington - February 7, 1981


Operated first Qantas 747SP non-stop service Sydney-Los Angeles as QF11 - April 7, 1984


it looks as though QF had the SP in service slightly over 3 years before they used them for SYD-LAX . I would suggest that if they had originally been purchased for their range rather than their shortfield performance then SYD-LAX would have had priority over SYD-WLG when they were first introduced back in '81.



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User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4636 posts, RR: 23
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6268 times:



Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 23):
it looks as though QF had the SP in service slightly over 3 years before they used them for SYD-LAX . I would suggest that if they had originally been purchased for their range rather than their shortfield performance then SYD-LAX would have had priority over SYD-WLG when they were first introduced back in '81.

They were purchased for short field performance.

However, a small US airline by the name of Pan Am deployed their 747SPs non-stop on LAX-SYD and so Qantas decided they should really do the same in order to compete.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
25 FlyCaledonian : I guess a couple of things affected the withdrawal of the European carriers from Australia, in that with the demise of the multi-stop flight, it becam
26 Lufthansa : Sin was always just that little bit too far from most of europe... to do non-stop anyway with the 763. So it was never really an option. They would h
27 Viscount724 : The DC-10-30's range performance was at least as good as the 747-200. Although only 81 743s were built, I would consider the 18 original airline cust
28 BrouAviation : It has flown the 747-100, but it didn't buy it? Could they lease airplanes back in those days? Is the 787 ordered for those routes, or for replacing
29 OzGlobal : Apart from LAX, this is rubbish. For LHR, QF has the following competition at least and it has always has been competitive: - SQ, BA, MH, CX, EK, EY,
30 Viscount724 : Yes, 180 minutes ETOPS certification is more than enough for SYD-LAX nonstop via the great circle route. DL and V Australia both operate 777s SYD-LAX
31 Ual747 : Oh gawd, don't take my statement as something political....sheesh. Truth be told, frequencies ALL over the world are increasing. People want more opt
32 OzGlobal : Not saying, it's political, just that as a general statement it's untrue and that there's no 'causal link' with the US in any case. Counter examples
33 Ual747 : K, you're right, I'm wrong.
34 VC10DC10 : Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I was under the impression that the DC-10-30's range at MTOW is on the order of 5,400nm, whilst that of the 747-200B (at an
35 Jbernie : Some potential factors - Fleet commonality (always good!) - Type of routes flown by QF prior to it also becoming a domestic airline (only Internationa
36 Viscount724 : Unfortunately, the market dictates otherwise in most cases. The carrier with the highest frequency usually has the highest market share and generates
37 VC10DC10 : Sorry to go off-topic, and I don't mean to pick a fight with you, but it's interesting that AA not only has the most flights on JFK/EWR-LAX, but also
38 767ER : QF retained the 747SP on the WLG route until QF received the first 762 in Sept 1985.
39 Viscount724 : I disagree for the JFK-LAX situation since AA 762s have very low-density 3-class seating configuration with only 158 seats (9/30/119), less than on s
40 QFYMML : FWIW, I remember flying the SP SFO-HNL-SYD back in December of 1983 - not a non-stop service but the type was being used for flights to the US West C
41 DavidByrne : Back in the early 1980s I was living in WLG and had the opportunity to fly WLG-SYD and WLG-MEL on QF's 747SP. They replaced the NZ DC8-52s which were
42 Post contains links and images Vhqpa : I'm not sure if it was brought secondhand or was leased but it was an ex-AA aircraft VH-EEI QF only had it for around for a year or two around the La
43 Dennys : please The Lord make Qantas buy the 747-8i !!!!! dennys
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