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Joined: Sat Jul 03, 1999 5:51 am

Qantas Honolulu-Cairns

Mon Sep 30, 2002 12:14 am

I was wondering how long did Qantas operate a routing between Honolulu and Cairns? I went to Australia in 1987 and flew a LAX-HNL-Cairns routing, one way on a 747-200 (with a two day layover in Hawaii) and the return trip on a 747SP. At that time, my father told me that Cairns had just recently been opened up to international flights and that it was cheaper to fly that way because Qantas was offering a special. Cairns at that time was a very sleepy town, with only a couple of hotels. Now I hear it is a major vacation destination for the Japanese and that there are many resort hotels there.
However, Qantas' route map does not show the HNL-Cairns routing anymore. Does anyone know when this service began and when it ended?

I remember the aircraft had really 1970s cabin furnishings and that the flight attendants (I believe almost all men) wore these really bright red blazers. The food, however, I remember as being really good for economy class. Does anyone know how many classes Qantas was offering during that period (1987)?

Also, does anyone know the breakdown of Qantas 747-200B fleet in terms of RR and P&W engines? I do believe that the 747-200s I flew on Qantas were all P&W (the SP was, of course, a RR version).
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RE: Qantas Honolulu-Cairns

Mon Sep 30, 2002 12:47 am

The airport only became truly capable of handling long-haul flights in 1989 when the main runway was extended from 2700 to 3200 metres. Since 2000, Cairns has lost a number of international carriers. Malaysian, Japan Air Lines come to my mind (Singapore Airlines ?). The only true long-haul airline other than Qantas (there are also regional services by ANZ, Air Niugini and Continental Micronesia) nowadays is Cathay Pacific which operates a triangular-service CLK - CNS - BNE - CLK or CLK - BNE - CNS - CLK. I was on one of their flights last year and the loads were very poor. Qantas operates to four Japanese destinations, Singapore and Hongkong but that's it.
BUT - Australian Airlines Mk. II will be Cairns-based and hopefully will bring back a lot of the international destinations axed by other carriers.
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RE: Qantas Honolulu-Cairns

Mon Sep 30, 2002 1:11 am

Come December, you'll have:
Cathay to (Brisbane-)Hong Kong
Air New Zealand to Auckland
Air Niugini to Port Moresby (Mt. Hagen?)
Qantas to Tokyo (I believe)
Australian Airlines to Nagoya, Fukuoka, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore but check their websites for a more accurate list

they USED to have Singapore to Singapore and Continental Micronesia to Guam
Best Business Class: Royal Brunei. Best Economy: Singapore Airlines. First: please send money first!
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RE: Qantas Honolulu-Cairns

Mon Sep 30, 2002 3:23 am

CO still has the CNS-GUM flights, operated Sunday/Thursday and the return on Monday/Friday, with 738 equipment.


RE: Qantas Honolulu-Cairns

Mon Sep 30, 2002 7:35 am


Some QANTAS flights to Japan go via Cairns.

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Joined: Sat Jul 03, 1999 5:51 am

RE: Qantas Honolulu-Cairns

Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:12 am

Well I know I flew into Cairns direct from Honolulu in Spring 1987. I don't know if the flight was weight restricted, I cannot remember how full the flight was. However, I know we went through Passport Control and Customs in Cairns. So despite the runway lengthening in 1989, they were handling at least Qantas international flights at least two years before that.

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RE: Qantas Honolulu-Cairns

Mon Sep 30, 2002 10:44 am

The last time QF operated a CNS-USA service was around 1997 or therabouts. Routing was QF25 SYD-CNS-HNL-LAX, QF26 LAX-HNL-SYD with a 747 combi, sometimes a 747SP. CNS served only on outbound.

CNS-HNL is actually longer than SYD-HNL, and as CNS-HNL-LAX is so low yield with no business class traffic, the route was suspended.
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RE: Qantas Honolulu-Cairns

Mon Sep 30, 2002 11:01 am

Thanks ETA Unknown:

Does anyone know when this routing began?

I do know on the way back I flew SYD-Brisbane-Cairns-Honolulu on a 747SP and then changed to a 747-200 to Lax.

I assume that in 1987, Qantas offered Business Class?

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