777s For Qantas?

Wed Feb 09, 2000 5:12 am

Some people have been posting about whether Qantas might get the 777, like the 777X to be lauched at Asian Aerospace. (See the topic, "777X Launch At Asian Aerospace?" posted by First Class)

I'm highly surprised that Qantas didn't order any 777s especially the 777-200. The 777-200 is intended to be a replacement for 747-200s, some of which of fly in QF colors. Over a year ago, I had heard that Qantas would decide between the 777-200 and the A340 to add to its fleet, sometimes in 2001. I think the 777 would be the obvious choice, as Qantas has been a loyal Boeing customer.

The 777-200 would also make a great replacement for QF's 747SPs. I'm not sure if the 777 has the same ETOPS certification as the 767. But if it does, it shouldn't be any problem for QF to use them on transpacific routes, or routes across the Indian Ocean to southern Africa. The 747-200s and 747SPs are getting old, and QF might need to replace them soon.

The 777-200 would look neat in Qantas colors!
Any thoughts about this?

Another Interesting Thing About QF

Wed Feb 09, 2000 6:20 am

Oh, and one more interesting thing - QF's jet a/c fleet hasn't always been all Boeing. QF did have at least a couple of A300B4s, acquired from merging with Australian Airlines(once TAA) in 1993. I believe QF sold them off after a few years.
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RE: 777s For Qantas?

Wed Feb 09, 2000 7:27 am


QF inherited 4 A300's from Australian Airlines, the last of which they divested in about mid 1998. They used a rollover program where they replaced the aging A300's with B767-300's.

The QF B747SP's may be around for a little while yet. The reason = they are unique (they are the only ones with RR engines) and nobody wants the things.

About the ETOPS certification, I think the allowed range of the B777 is well in excess of the B767. QF only use their B763's for SIN, HNL, AKL, HKG, etc anyway so they are not an aircraft they use for ultra-long range (I think SYD-HNL is about as far as they can fly). SYD-HNL would be about as "Trans-Pacific" as a current twin would get. The B747-400 is the only aircraft certified to operate SYD-LAX at this stage (the new A340 family should be able to do it).


RE: 777s For Qantas?

Wed Feb 09, 2000 8:06 am

How interesting that "Boeing 777" and "B727-200" should bring up the A300's of Qantas. I had the pleasure(?) of flying on one, SYD-MEL, in mid-October of 1998. I recall thinking how odd it was to see an AB3 in their fleet.

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RE: 777s For Qantas?

Wed Feb 09, 2000 8:31 am

ETOPS is an issue for QF for services from Australia to South America and South Africa. If QF can qualify for 207 minutes ETOPS, even though these services obviously aren't North Pacific (one of the criterion for 207 minutes ETOPS), if the relevant authorities apply it to the southern routes then this relaxes the 777 on these particular routes.

Boeing 777, the -200 isn't intended as a 747 Classic replacement, the -300 is. :-)

QF prefers the 777 over the A330/340. However, the decision will probably come down to price and the noted solution to ETOPS restrictions. Regardless, within five years the A340 will have similar restrictions if the FAA and other worldwide authorities has their way.
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RE: 777s For Qantas?

Wed Feb 09, 2000 8:54 am

As Qantas is quite content with operating their 747-400's to N. America, that market is out of the question for replacement (as far as this discussion goes).

When it comes to QF's Asian flights, the 777 really is the best choice for them. The 777 can hold more passengers than the A340, and the two extra engines won't be needed, especially since there are about a million alternate landing sites in Asia.

The SYD-JNB route will always stop in Perth, so there's really no problem there with the 777, especially if it receives [the very likely] 207 min. ETOPS rating.

It would be nice to see either plane in QF colors!



Wed Feb 09, 2000 8:59 am

I find the ETOPS issue for Qantas interesting, as Qantas, being the world's most crash-free airline, shouldn't have any trouble passing the ETOPS test.

Sorry about the "replacement" thing, you do have an excellent point there. I just found out that the 777-200 is really intended to fill the gap between 747-200 and the 767-300. You're right about the -300. When I said that the 777-200 was intended to be a replacement for 747 Classics, I only meant it in the same manner that UAL and BA had been replacing their older 747s with the 777-200s. Qantas just might follow in their footsteps.

What is really odd is that I have yet to see any non-Asian carriers ordering or even considering the 777-300!!

BTW, maybe you meant the A330, not the A340, as the A330 is a twinjet, when it comes to the future restrictions. ETOPS stands for Extended Twinjet Operations. The twinjet has to be reliable(NO engine failures!) enough to be able to fly any farther than 3 hours from the nearest emergency landing site. The "-OPS" is just simply short for "operations". I believe this seems to apply only to US-made a/c, as the A330 is European-built, and therefore probably not as subject to FAA restrictions regarding long-range twinjet operations over water. I'm sure you might already know about the ETOPS stuff, but I'm not sure everybody else does. But hey, I might be wrong on all counts! :-)
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To: Boeing 777 + Anyone Else...

Wed Feb 09, 2000 9:21 am

Hey there,

I too find ETOPS an amazing subject.

ETOPS doesn't require "no engine failures", but a prescribed rate of engine failures being below a certain level. For 180 minutes ETOPS this is 0.02 failures per 1,000 hours - or one failure per 50,000 flight hours fleetwide. This equates to each individual B777 having one or two engine failures during its entire useful life. What people can't fathom is that the random chance that those two engine failures will happen within 180 minutes of each other is so extremely remote as to say that it is statistically negligible.

I am not suggesting for a moment that dual-engine failure isn't possible. I'm saying that the reliability figures chosen make dual-engine failure so remote that it is statistically possible to derive that there is MORE chance of a 4-engine failure on a quadjet than a dual-engine mechanical failure on a twinjet. And yet, certain people still don't seem to understand that four engines doesn't make them any safer whatsoever, and proclaim ETOPS (a system of CRM and human factors requirements as well as redundancy and reliability features) to be something that is bad. ETOPS is terrific. It is, IMO, the best aviation system of operation yet developed, and I hope that the FAA applies it to other long-haul airplanes. is a link to an ETOPS report.

Any airline flying to the USA must abide by FAA regulations. Therefore the A330 has been granted ETOPS by the FAA - to 180 minutes, infact, and this occurred several years ago.

And you're right - QF has the necessary ETOPS experience, having now flown 180 minutes ETOPS with its B767-300ERs for a decade, and -200ERs on 138 minutes for a few years longer than that. QF does not have issues flying a twin over the Pacific, I can assure you of that, and you can know that anyone who broadcasts otherwise on this particular messageboard either (i) is lying; or (ii) has no idea. :-)
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RE: To: Boeing 777 + Anyone Else...

Wed Feb 09, 2000 4:52 pm

It seems to me that Qantas is more likely to buy the 777 since QF is one of the 'working together' airlines in the 777 project.
Also, regarding the A340-5/600 vs 777 etops thing, now that a lot of people are turning towards the ETOPS rather than 4 engines, then why doesn't Airbus make an A330 super stretch with ETOPS so that it can compete more directly with the 777x? is it that there is some problem with the 330 that doesn't allow airbus to do that , or is it other reasons?

RE: To: Boeing 777 + Anyone Else...

Wed Feb 09, 2000 5:29 pm

Qantas's longest international 763 flight is Tokyo-Perth.
Average flying time is just in excess of 10 hours (Non-stop), which I feel is extremely long for a 763. As for frequency, this only goes 3 times a week, so Its not really a high pax route.

And also, HKG-MEL route (763), which also is inexcess of 9 hours, and also a high pax route, so here, a 777 would be an economical replacement.

Just a clarification from what 727-200 said earlier, Qantas doesnt take 763s to HNL, there they alternate between there 747s, currently, I think most of there classics are doing the route, although last year I went over on a 743 and returned on a 744, and both planes were packed, so I cant see them wanting to sacrifice seats for that route.

Just a few snipperts
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RE: 777s For Qantas?

Wed Feb 09, 2000 9:13 pm

Qantas used to operate B767ERs from HNL to the US West Coast. I remember the outcry quite well - that Americans especially were horrified at the prospect of flying a twinjet from the mainland to Hawaii.

Ofcourse nowadays airlines such as United, Delta, American and Continental are replacing their 3 and 4 engined airplanes with B767s and B777s on that particular route.

IMO the airline with the best trans-Pacific ETOPS operations alongside Qantas is Air NZ. NZ has considerable experience on such routes as AKL-HNL with B767ERs. The use of twinjets is a media beat-up of airline safety that they don't know much about.

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