If you’re a big fan of the Queen of the skies, you’re going to love this. As you know, Qantas is rapidly working on the retirement of the 747 fleet as the aircraft is not only expensive to operate but also not as fuel-efficient as their newer aircraft like their 787-9’s.
The 747 has always held a special place in my heart as it’s the aircraft that I remember travelling on to the US as a small child, I really, really don’t want to see these birds go.
The airline has already retired a number of the old birds and the latest one to finish its life at Qantas is VH-OEF which is the special painted Oneworld aircraft which happens to be shown below.
During the month of March, Qantas will place the 747-400 on the Sydney – Honolulu service.
For those who aren’t aware, the A330 currently operates the service so while Avgeeks alike will be pleased, if you are set on the privacy of the newer A330 suites, I’d recommend checking the date of your travel. In saying that, I couldn’t imagine too many people wanting to take an A330 over the Queen considering its popularity.
I’m rather intrigued by the aircraft switch as during March there are no school holidays in Australia which would obviously impact demand. In saying that, it is peak spring break period, but I wouldn’t have thought it’d warrant an aircraft swap.
I also had a friend who was onboard the last 747 flight to the mainland, and the crew on board stated that the aircraft would indeed operate services to Honolulu.
Airlineroute is also saying that the airline will be adding an extra service, but at the time of writing, It doesn’t seem to reflect that when making a booking – I will update once it shows up.
As of right now, the only other destinations you’ll be able to fly this aircraft are Johannesburg, Tokyo Haneda, Hong Kong and Santiago.
As you can see when looking the flights, the 747 is listed as the operating aircraft:
If you haven’t gotten a chance to fly on the Queen yet and would prefer not going into Asia or flying on a long-haul, this is probably the best and last chance of doing so. The pricing during the month varies by date. Still, there are some decent fares to be found, and there’s some availability in premium cabins if you’re interested in making a redemption booking.