If you’re a fan of the Boeing 747 then you’ll want to get your fill of the aircraft while you still can because when the year 2020 comes to an end, so too will the aircraft’s existence in Qantas’ fleet.

The Flying Kangaroo confirmed this week that it will retire the last of its 747s by the end of 2020 – earlier than expected – by replacing them with six newly ordered Boeing 787-9s.

The half a dozen new Dreamliners will join the fleet over the next two years, accelerating the jumbo jet’s retirement and providing the carrier with opportunities to save on fuel and maintenance costs.

Qantas 747 2

Qantas could also use newer aircraft to improve its international network by launching those rumoured direct flights from Sydney to London, Brisbane to Seattle, Sydney to Rio de Janeiro or Sydney to Cape Town.

Qantas’ Chief Executive Alan Joyce described the exchange in Boeings as ‘the end of one era and the start of another’, as aviation moves away from passenger-heavy flights to ultra-long-haul services.

Qantas Dreamliner 787

“Over the years, each new version of the 747 allowed Qantas to fly further and improve what we offered passengers. The Dreamliners are now doing the same thing.”

Alan Joyce, Qantas Chief Executive

“The 787 has better economics and a longer range, and its already opened up new routes like Perth to London. With a larger fleet of Dreamliners, we’ll be looking at destinations in the Americas, Asia, South Africa and Europe.”

Qantas Dreamliner

As well as retiring the 747s and growing the carrier’s Dreamliner fleet to 14, over the next two years Qantas will have also finished upgrading its A380 cabins with new and additional Business Class and Premium Economy seats, a refreshed First Class, new bedding product and fast wi-fi.


READ: Qantas flies direct to London in under 16 hours

READ: Flying Kangaroo makes changes to US & Asia flights

READ: Qantas considers ‘Exercise Class’ or ‘Sleep Class’ for ultra-long-haul flights

Which aircraft do you prefer?