For some like me it was a sad but inevitable day when Qantas announced this week it was retiring its remaining 10 strong B747-400 jumbos by 2020. The iconic queen of the skies will be replaced by an order of six Boeing 787-9 jets, bringing the total number of Qantas Dreamliners to 14.
The jumbo has been the backbone of Qantas International for over 40 years. The airline currently flies the ageing B747 jumbos to the USA (and seasonally to Vancouver), Asia, South America and South Africa, with some of those routes to be taken over by the Boeing 787 and others handed to the A330.
It is anticipated that the first of the additional 787-9s will be delivered in late 2019 with the remaining five to be rolled out quickly over the following 12 months. The new Dreamliners are expected to take off to destinations such as Europe, Asia and South Africa with Qantas looking increasingly likely over the next year to announce Paris and Germany as their next European destinations.
Until its retirement, I personally will preference the B747 over the B787 where the option is given to me. Whilst the B787 is innovative in terms of of fuel and tech spec, the plane is ‘planey’ bland and doesn’t have anything on the B747 in terms of wow factor,