Where you run into payload restrictions is if you need an alternate for MEL and Avalon isn't suitable. Now you have to use SYD which requires a good amount of fuel. LAX-SYD is in the same boat, if not worse, since MEL is technically the closest airport. However, I believe and I might be wrong, it's my understanding that QF has an exemption to use a closer RAAF base close to SYD. It's only a "paper" alternate, thus reducing the amount of alternate fuel that needs to be carried.
Why wouldn't AVV be a suitable alternative? It can handle 744's and I think all cargo flights goto Avalon instead of Tullamarine do they not? Only reason I can think of as to why AVV wouldn't be a good alternative is the lack of passenger handling facilities for international flights such as Immigration etc.
Also it is rumored Qantas got these aircraft for next to nothing in attempt by Boeing to stop them from buying the A380, which they went on to buy any way. And it a bit of a slap to the face for Boeing annouced both orders plus orders for A330's at the same time.
I couldn't find the web link, but when the ER came out the big deal is it allows for some cargo to be carried on SYD-LAX. The regular 400, as noted, has some severe payload restrictions on that flight.
Does anyone know the allowed cargo on a 388 SYD-LAX (and vice versa) vs. 744ER? I'm not trying to start A vs. B, but I would like do know after pax and luggage the difference in cargo for that route and this seems to be the appropriate live thread.
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
Quoting Bill142 (Reply 6): Why wouldn't AVV be a suitable alternative?
I would think that it is highly likely that extreme weather that made MEL unusable would likely affect AVV. I would expect AVV to be suitable for other MEL closures eg blocked runways etc. There are even PAX facilities at AVV although not the immigration and customs services you could get at SYD.
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!