Qantas Upgrades Its Hong Kong Routes In Two Different Ways

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Qantas has announced two changes to its Hong Kong routes that offer positives and negatives to its premium cabin flyers. One of the changes will undoubtedly go down very well while the other, I suspect, will be both loved and hated depending on the nature of the traveler it affects.

The Qantas A380 Will Fly To Hong Kong….And It Will Offer First Class


It’s not unusual for Qantas to schedule its A380s to fly between Sydney and Hong Kong in the southern hemisphere summer as that’s when the route is busiest so that when it makes the most sense for the whale-jet to make an appearance…but First Class is not normally offered on-board.

a large airplane on a runway

The First Class seats are still on the aircraft but historically they’ve been treated as part of the Business Class cabin and that has given oneworld elites an extra perk.

Oneworld elites who book a Business Class fare on the Qantas A380 to/from Hong Kong have, in the past, been able to preselect the First Class seats on the aircraft for no extra cost….but that benefit is about to go away.

Between 1 December 2018 and 28 March 2019 a Qantas Airbus A380 will replace the Boeing 747 that was scheduled to operate flights QF117/118 between Sydney and Hong Kong and Qantas will offer a full First Class service onboard.

For Business Class passengers used to “upgrading” to a First Class seat when the A380 appears on the Sydney Hong Kong route this is clearly bad news….but it’s great news for anyone looking for a genuine Qantas First Class experience.

Qantas Schedules The Dreamliner On Its Hong Kong Routes

Qantas has announced that it will be making Hong Kong the next destination to which its new 787-9 Dreamliner will fly.

a white airplane flying in the sky

Melbourne – Hong Kong

This route will offer Dreamliner service between 13 December 2018 and 29 March 2018 as flights QF29/30. The new aircraft will operate 5x/week through 27 January 2019 and then 6x/week through 29 March 2019.

Brisbane – Hong Kong

Brisbane will offer Dreamliner service to Hong Kong from 19 December 2018 and the new aircraft is scheduled to remain on this route though to the end of the currently published schedule.

The Dreamliner will operate flights QF97/98 1x/week through 29 January 2018 and then 2x/week from 30 January 2019.

Sydney – Hong Kong

The Qantas Dreamliners will operate flights QF127/128 and QF117/118 6 days/week from 30 March 2019. According to ExpertFlyer the Dreamliners remain on this route through to the end of the currently published schedule.

I tried out the Qantas Dreamliner Business Class cabin late last year (review and pictures here) and really enjoyed the experience so this should be a nice upgrade for premium cabin flyers.

Outside of peak season (when the A380 appears on this route) the Sydney – Hong Kong flights are operated by 747 and A330 aircraft so the Dreamliner will be changing the cabins on offer.

The flights where the Dreamliner is replacing an Airbus A330 will now feature a 28-seat Premium Economy cabin where no Premium Economy option was offered before as well as a very nice 42-seat Business Class cabin where a maximum of 36 seats were offered before.

a row of seats in an airplane
Qantas 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class cabin

Where the Dreamliner replaces the Boeing 747 aircraft there’s a reduction in the number of Business Class seats on offer as well as a reduction in the number of Premium Economy seats too….but the Business Class cabin on the Dreamliner is a significant step up – the 747 offers 2-3-2 seating in parts of the Business Class cabin while the Dreamliner offers an all-aisle-access 1-2-1 seat layout.

Bottom Line

All in all the Australia – Hong Kong routes are being significantly upgraded by Qantas and although some flights will now feature fewer Business Class seats the overall net effect is definitely a positive one.