Info on the 733's came from QF
themselves, in response to a question on why future confirmed J class trips were coming back as sked changed into Y class.
The 734's going to 20 seats is from a "2nd tier - direct report to GD
" manager in a memo a cabin crew mate had. The flexibility seems to be going as the new refurb appears to have a set config for each type.
FWIW, this is the QF
response to the 733 question:
The Qantas 737-300 fleet is progressively being converted to 1 class service. The first aircraft (TJA) commenced flying in it's new configuration in late January and another will join it in February. Progressively then another 5 will be done throughout March with the rest to be completed by the end of July.
As the number of them coming back on line increase, we have now been advised of the routes they are flying, and we are able to notify customers of the changes occuring. We have been advised by our network people the all economy 737-300 configuration will be used on the following routes -
Perth - Karratha, Broome, Kalgoorlie
Cairns - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
Hamilton Island - Sydney, Melbourne
Coolangatta - Sydney, Melbourne
Townsville - Brisbane
Alice Springs - Darwin, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne
Uluru (Ayers Rock) - Sydney, Cairns.
(Yada yada yada and so forth). Still waiting for clarification if all services on those pairings are affected or if it's just most of them with a morning and evening peak J operated craft being kept in the timetable. Looking at the list above, I'd say ASP
& AYQ has lost all J service, apart from the trans-con PER
I guess your mentioned QFLink plan may have been dropped now that QF
have also confirmed some 767-300's will also be converted into all Y configuration. I've mentioned it before, but it seems to me a deliberate fragmentation is occurring in domestic (like Intnat'l) where citiflyer will be the premium domestic product with J cabins and upgraded meals and service, operating only the mainline and trunk route pairings. These 733 and 763 all Y subfleets will become more of a QFLink product with minimal food (the "Box", if any) linking non trunk pairings and operating on leisure routes.
I'm also getting the sense that Virgin Blue is *the* driving force behind these changes, given their overall 30% share and up to low 40's share on some direct competition routes. I get the feeling the changes to the PER
citiflyer service product was a direct result of losing a good slice of corporates to the Blue on those routes, and is one way of trying to win them back.
All that is some supposition on my part, of course, based on the facts coming straight from QF