Competition between Australia and Hong Kong continues to heat up with Qantas targeting the Chinese city with its growing fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from December.
The Flying kangaroo will use the 787 to service the Hong Kong from Brisbane and Melbourne from December and from Sydney from March.
Subject to regulatory and government approvals, it will ply the Melbourne-Hong Kong route five days per week from December 13, increasing to six days per week between January 28 and March 29. Other flights on the daily QF29/30 service will be operated by an Airbus A330.
Dreamliners will operate between Sydney and Hong Kong six days a week from March 30 in conjunction with an A330 and a peak-season A380 superjumbo due to replace a Boeing 747 from early to December to the end of March. Qantas flies double daily services — QF127/128 and QF117/118 — between Sydney and Hong.
Brisbane will see the plane on its daily Hong Kong service one day per week from December 19, increasing to two days from January 30. An A330 will operate the QF29/30 service on other days.
The new 787 services are timed to coincide with the delivery of the carrier’s eighth 787and will see Hong Kong join Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco as international destinations.
“Introducing the Dreamliner to Hong Kong reinforces our commitment to Asia, where we are seeing strong demand from premium travelers,” Qantas chief executive Alison Webster said in airline’s announcement.
“The customer response to the Dreamliner has been overwhelmingly positive. Feedback on the cabin environment, from the seats to the anti-jetlag measures, is fantastic. It’s an aircraft people really enjoy flying on.”
Virgin Australia and Cathay Pacific also compete for passengers to Hong Kong and Virgin began A330 flights from Sydney in July. Virgin plans to return its Melbourne-Hong Kong route to year-round daily flights from October 28 to give it daily services from both of Australia’s biggest cities.
Qantas is using the fuel-efficient Dreamliners to replace its Boeing 747 jumbo jets, the last of which is expected to leave the fleet in 2020.
The airline announced in May it had ordered another six 787s to bring its fleet to 14. The new planes are due to arrive between late 2019 and October, 2020, when the last of the 747s is expected to retire.
The Qantas Dreamliners carry 236 passengers in three cabins and feature the airline’s popular Business Suite, a next-generation premium economy seat and an improved economy seat with extra legroom.
The airline made history when it began flying the aircraft nonstop between Perth and London.