This Week’s Featured Link
QANTAS GROUP OUTLINES STRATEGY FOR RESTARTING INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS – Qantas Newsroom
Look at Qantas making plans again. How cute. But let’s pretend the country does open up again. There is a whole lot in here that grabbed me. Darwin-London? A330s to the US? A321LRs to Jetstar? It’s all part of the plan.
Image of the Week
Two for the Road
Air New Zealand to operate Dreamliners on all long-haul routes as Boeing 777s phased out – Newshub
It’s a downgauge party for Air NZ. It’s incredible to think that an airline that had the 747-400 with 379 seats as its flagship merely a decade ago will now have nothing but the 787 flying long-haul. The 777-300ERs have a capacity of 342. Though we don’t know how Air NZ will configure its 787-10s yet, you can expect it to be in the neighborhood of 320 or so.
New Zealand’s Air Chathams to end Convair ops in late 3Q21 – ch-aviation
Might as well round out this week with an all Australia/New Zealand edition. Yes, an airline was still flying Convairs in commercial service. And no, it won’t be happening any longer with Air Chathams. It’s time for a heavy check so they will be retired for good in September. Until then, it’s just cargo operations.
I’m a little surprised that Qantas plans on re-introducing the A380. I get that they have some sunk costs in the interior refurbishment but I can’t believe that much demand will return that quickly.
Regarding Air Chathams, fret not as they still have a restored DC-3 that they use for Charter Flights. Perhaps that should be the next Cranky Planespotting?
Chris – If New Zealand ever lets us in again, I love this plan…
Australia has a significant backlog of nationals, stranded abroad, who cannot get back into the country because of its extremely rigid policies around entry in its now futile attempts at curbing the spread of COVID. The A380 reactivation is very likely there to help clear the backlog if and when borders really do open, and to meet what is likely to be substantial demand given that the country has essentially been isolated for over 18 months. It makes sense that the US and UK are the first to receive direct connections to Australia on QF given the higher rates of vaccination. Japan and Singapore seem optimistic given that neither really have COVID rates that are on the decline at the moment (neither does the US or UK for that matter). After a few weeks and if COVID rates don’t fall substantially around the world, I see QF struggling to fill those A380s. The future of the QF long haul fleet is likely going to be the 787-9 and the A350-1000 or maybe a sweet deal on the 777-9. One only needs to look across the Tasman and look at ANZ’s struggles and 77W retirement decision to understand that the writing is on the wall for the A380 at QF.
Doesn’t look like A380s will be helping clear the backlog of Australians stranded overseas. The initial flights in December will be 787 and A330; the A380s don’t come back until next July, flying between LAX and SYD.
The timing of Qantas’ announcement is a bit suspicious though, coming out the same week the Morrison government is trying to get the Labor-lead states on board with a reopening plan that would likely increase their COVID infection rates.
2 people 60 Miles would be able to compete with Uber on pre-defined pilotless routes like Manhattan to LGA or JFK.
I’d rather see how Virgin Atlantic, American an Azul would think to commercialise the use of the Vertical Aerospace VX-4 (4 pax, 100+ miles) and Lilium Jet (6 pax, 155+ miles). Are these “orders” more than just a PR stunt?