Qantas Will End 747 Service To Los Angeles This Year (Other Changes Coming Too)

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Qantas has confirmed that it will be pulling its ageing Boeing 747 aircraft from its Sydney – Los Angeles route in time for the busy period at the end of the year.

In a press release put out earlier today the Australian carrier said that its last Boeing 747 service to Los Angeles will take place on 27 November 2018 as the aircraft flys one last time between Sydney and LAX.

As things stand Qantas is only scheduled to operate a 747 on the Sydney Los Angeles route once a week (Tuesdays) but, come 3 December, that 747 flight will be taken over by a combination of Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

While the disappearance of a flying icon from the Sydney – Los Angeles route will be sad news for aviation geeks that’s not the only change Qantas came out with today – there will be other changes to the aircraft the airline offers on other US routes too.

Qantas US Route Aircraft Changes

Seasonal SYD – LAX Route Change

a large sign on a hill

The seasonal twice-weekly Sydney-Los Angeles service (QF17/18) will be operated by an A380 during the December-January peak season (formerly operated by 747 aircraft) leaving the airline’s Sydney – LAX schedule looking like this:

QF11 SYD 11:30 – 06:20 LAX (Daily)
QF17 SYD 18:25 – 13:15 LAX (Fri & Sun) **starts 14 Dec**

QF18 LAX 20:15 – 06:15+2 days SYD (Fri & Sun) **starts 14 Dec**
QF12 LAX 22:30 – 08:30+2 days SYD (Daily)

More Capacity & More Cabin Options To Honolulu 

a sunset over a beach

Between 7 December 2018 and Easter 2019 Qantas will replace the Airbus A330-300 that operates its Sydney – Honolulu service with a Boeing 747 aircraft. The airline has indicated that this will increase the capacity on the route by 300 seats/week and that the route will now offer customers a Premium Economy cabin.

The 747 will offer the following cabin configuration:

  • 58 Business Class seats
  • 36 Premium Economy Seats
  • 270 Economy Class seats

That’s 30 more Business Class seats than the A330-300 offers and, although the 747 seats are not the new-style seats found in the A330, this should still be good news for those looking to book award travel.

More Service To San Francisco

a city with many tall buildings

From 17 December 2018 Qantas will be adding an additional flight to its Sydney-San Francisco route using a Boeing 747 aircraft.

As things stand Qantas operates its Sydney – San Francisco route 4x/week but the addition of the extra service will now see the route operated daily.

Here’s the currently published winter schedule:

QF73 SYD 17:55 – 12:25 SFO (Daily)
QF74 SFO 20:35 – 06:10+2 days SYD (Daily)

Dallas/Ft. Worth Service Is Being Cut

From 4 February 2019 Qantas is reducing the Sydney – Dallas/Fort Worth service will go from being operated daily to a 6x/week service on the following schedule:

QF73 SYD 14:40 – 13:00 DFW (Daily)
QF74 DFW 20:00 – 06:05+2 days SYD (Daily)

The route will continue to be operated by A380 aircraft.


Overall these are positive moves by Qantas and while it’s always sad to see the end of yet another 747 route it’s probably time for Qantas to retire the aircraft – the A380 offers an all-round better traveling experience even if it will never be as iconic as the “Queen of the Skies”.

If you’re looking to book a Business Class award between the US and Australia the news of the capacity increase on the Sydney – Honolulu route should be music to your ears and the extra capacity Qantas is adding to San Francisco won’t hurt your chances either.

The only fly in the ointment here is the slight decrease in service to DFW but, all things considered, I can’t imagine anyone considering this a particularly big deal.

Important: If you have seat reservations for Qantas flights to/from the US for the end of the year make sure you double check them closely – with all the aircraft changes going on you may find you’re no longer sitting in the seats you first selected.