Tag Archives: VH-ZNA

QANTAS to operate the Boeing 787-9 to Hong Kong

QANTAS Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VH-ZNA (msn 39038) LHR (SPA). Image: 942447.

QANTAS Airways has announced Hong Kong as the next destination for its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

From December 2018*, customers travelling on selected QANTAS flights to Hong Kong will experience the Dreamliner’s next generation Economy, Premium Economy and Business class cabins:

  • Brisbane to Hong Kong from 19 December 2018
  • Melbourne to Hong Kong between 13 December 2018 until 29 March 2019
  • Sydney to Hong Kong from 30 March 2019.

The changes are timed with the arrival of QANTAS’ eighth Dreamliner and will join the national carrier’s Airbus A330 and A380 aircraft that also fly to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong joins Los Angeles, New York, London and San Francisco as international destinations served by the QANTAS Dreamliner, as the more efficient aircraft gradually replaces the 747 on key routes.

QANTAS’ Dreamliner carries 236 passengers across three cabins. It features the latest version of the airline’s Business Suite, nicknamed “mini First Class” by some frequent flyers, as well as a next generation Premium Economy seat and a significantly improved Economy seat with extra storage compartments and more legroom.

QANTAS will also bring forward the peak season upgrade of one of its two daily Sydney-Hong Kong flights from a 747 to the A380 aircraft to early December, offering four cabins on the route including First Class through to the end of March 2019.

 

Summary of changes

Route Frequency Details
Brisbane – Hong Kong (QF97/98) Daily 789 to operate one day per week from 19 December 2018, increasing to two days per week from 30 January 2019. A330 to operate all other days.
Melbourne – Hong Kong (QF29/30) Daily 789 to operate five days per week from 13 December 2018, increasing to six days per week from 28 January to 29 March 2019. A330 to operate all other days.
Sydney – Hong Kong (QF127/128 and QF117/118) Double daily 789 to operate six days per week from 30 March 2019. A330 to operate all other services, with A380 operating daily during peak season.

Fares for 787 flights to Hong Kong are available via qantas.com and through Travel Agents progressively from today.

*Subject to Government and regulatory approvals.

In other news, QANTAS Freight will launch a new direct seasonal freight service from Darwin to Hong Kong*, supporting producers in Northern Australia to respond to growing demand from Asia.

The new service – which will be the only direct cargo link between the Northern Territory and Hong Kong – will provide capacity to carry up to 50 tonnes of fresh produce such as chilled meat, seafood, dairy, fruit and vegetables, as well as general cargo. It will provide local producers with the opportunity to get their products into Asia faster and fresher, potentially extending the shelf life and profitability of quality Australian exports.

Commencing in late August, the weekly Boeing 767-300F service will depart Darwin on Sunday night and arrive in Hong Kong six hours later at 11pm local time.

The QANTAS Group is a long-term investor in the Northern Territory, stimulating tourism and providing vital connectivity for the region. In FY17, the QANTAS Group contributed more than $150 million to the Territory economy, including employing 400 people locally as well as tourists spending with local businesses.

QANTAS currently carries freight to over 20 destinations in Asia, including locations in China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by QANTAS): QANTAS Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VH-ZNA (msn 39038) LHR (SPA). Image: 942447.

QANTAS aircraft slide show:

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QANTAS delivers a record first half profit, 18 Airbus A321NR NEOs for Jetstar

First QANTAS Boeing 787-9, delivered on October 17, 2017

The QANTAS Group has delivered its highest-ever first half Underlying Profit Before Tax of $976 million for the six months ending December 31, 2017.

  • Underlying Profit Before Tax: $976 million (up 15%)
  • Record results for Qantas Domestic, Jetstar Group and Qantas Loyalty
  • Statutory Profit Before Tax: $857 million (up 20%)
  • Statutory Earnings Per Share: 34.0c
  • Return On Invested Capital: 20.9%
  • Record level of operating cash flow; net free cash flow of $772 million (up 2.7 times)
  • Up to $500 million shareholder return: 7 cents per share ordinary unfranked dividend, plus an on-market buyback of up to $378 million

The result surpasses the previous record of $921 million achieved in the first half of FY16 and comes despite recent increases in fuel costs and continued international capacity growth. Both Underlying and Statutory profit before tax were significantly higher (15 percent and 20 percent respectively) than the first half of FY17.

All targets of the Group’s financial framework were met, enabling QANTAS to keep rewarding shareholders, investing for customers and positioning for the future.

CEO COMMENTARY

Group CEO Alan Joyce said the record result showed Qantas’ ability to keep delivering.

“After several years of consistent performance, we now have a lot of momentum behind us. We’re vigilant about maintaining that momentum and we’re confident about the future it allows us to build.

“Today’s result comes from investing in areas that provide margin growth and a network strategy that makes sure we have the right aircraft on the right route.

“Our lounges, Frequent Flyer program and initiatives like free Wi-Fi all drive customer satisfaction, and so does the network strength across Qantas and Jetstar.

“We’re seeing continued capacity discipline in the domestic market, coupled with a product advantage that’s delivering a significant profit share to the Group.

“This is a transition year for Qantas International and it’s setting up a bright future. We have the Dreamliner joining the fleet and important network changes on flights to Europe and across the Tasman, which will unlock significant benefits from FY19.

“For international to largely hold its own ahead of those benefits flowing through, and in the face of rising fuel costs and market capacity, shows its resilience.

“QANTAS Loyalty performed very well with the Frequent Flyer program at its core, but it’s also opening up fresh revenue growth by expanding directly into areas like financial services and health insurance.

“We operate in very competitive markets right across the Group, and we’re focused on continuous improvement.

“This result includes $181 million in benefits from ongoing transformation as part of an average annual target of $400 million. Ultimately, that discipline is key to our ability to keep delivering for our customers, shareholders and people,” said Mr Joyce.

GROUP DOMESTIC

QANTAS and Jetstar’s domestic flying operations combined posted their highest ever first half Underlying EBIT of $652 million.

The result was driven by ongoing capacity discipline and growing margins of both airlines, achieved through product and network superiority.

QANTAS Domestic posted Underlying EBIT of $447 million, up 20 per cent. Unit revenue was up 8.6 per cent and load factor increased by 1.4 points to 78.7 per cent. The resources sector posted modest revenue growth for the first time since 2014. Jetstar’s domestic operations achieved a 7 per cent increase in unit revenue.

GROUP INTERNATIONAL

QANTAS and Jetstar’s international operations performed well in the face of higher fuel costs and increased competitor capacity.

Underlying EBIT for QANTAS International was lower, down 5.5 per cent to $222 million, however unit revenue increased slightly by 0.3 per cent. A capacity increase together with load factor increasing by 3.1 percentage points to 84.4 per cent lifted overall revenue by 7.3 per cent.

Jetstar’s international operations generated strong earnings, helped by the operating costs of the 787-8 but impacted by around $10 million from the Bali ash cloud disruption. Jetstar’s portfolio of airlines in Asia was profitable, driven by Japan and Singapore operations as well as a significant improvement in Jetstar Pacific’s performance as excess market capacity in Vietnam moderated.

LOYALTY

QANTAS Loyalty posted another record profit in the first half of $184 million, up 1.7 percent.

As previously flagged, the regulatory changes to interchange fees had some impact on revenue but this was offset by overall growth in other parts of the Frequent Flyer program to help deliver total revenue increase of 2.7 percent.  This included continued growth of the revised Woolworths program, new retail partners including Rockpool Dining Group, Hoyts and Uber, and growth in Qantas Cash and Qantas epiQure.

Also contributing to revenue growth were Loyalty’s new ventures, which are in-line with or outperforming their business cases. Qantas Assure had the highest rate of member growth in the health insurance sector [1] (opens in new window) and is well placed to continue this momentum with premium increases significantly below the industry average [2] (opens in new window).

QANTAS’ own Platinum credit card continues to have a rapid growth rate, with more than 1 billion points earned already, and a low fee card was introduced in December 2017 as part of the continued expansion into financial services. Overall growth of cards that earn QANTAS Points was 5.3 per cent compared with 0.05 percent growth in the rest of the market [3] (opens in new window).

QANTAS Business Rewards, which offers small business the ability to earn points on corporate expenses, continues to drive an increase in revenue from program partners and is also increasing market share for the airlines among small-to-medium enterprises.

Growth in these new ventures and the core Frequent Flyer program is expected to deliver a compound annual growth rate of 7–10 per cent for Qantas Loyalty in the five years to FY22.

FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK  

All targets of the Group’s financial framework were met or exceeded in the half.

Net debt continued to fall and remains towards the bottom of the range, at $5.1 billion. Sixty per cent of the Group fleet is unencumbered, including two new Boeing 787-9s purchased with cash. Debt maturity has been improved by an eight year, $350 million corporate debt program and short term liquidity remained strong at $2.8 billion.

Rolling 12-month return on invested capital was 20.9 per cent, with all operating segments delivering ROIC above their weighted average cost of capital. Net capital expenditure guidance for FY18 and FY19 is unchanged at a combined $3.0 billion, net of asset sales.

Operating cash flow increased by 48 per cent to reach a record $1.7 billion, providing excess capital for reinvestment and for returns to shareholders.

SHAREHOLDER RETURNS

The QANTAS Board has announced up to $500 million of capital to be returned to shareholders. This comprises an interim dividend of 7 cents per share (unfranked) to be paid on 12 April 2018 with a record date of 8 March 2018, as well as an on-market share buy-back of up to $378 million. This additional buy-back is expected to bring the total reduction of shares on issue to 24 per cent since October 2015.

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

Jetstar Airways A320 order

Jetstar will start taking delivery of aircraft from its existing order of 99 A320 aircraft, beginning with 18 A321LR NEOs from mid-2020.

These next generation, longer range aircraft can fly routes like Melbourne and Sydney to Bali, currently operated by the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The arrival of the first four long range NEOs will add capacity on these routes with potential to also free up some 787-8 flying time for use on other leisure routes such as Vietnam, China, Thailand and Hawaii.

All 18 A321LR NEOs are expected to be delivered by the end of 2022 to replace Jetstar’s oldest A320s for use on domestic and international routes, and will each deliver a fuel burn improvement of around 15 percent.

The QANTAS Group retains flexibility with the sequencing of the rest of its A320 NEO order, which is approximately an even split of 232-seat A321LR NEOs and 186-seat A320 NEOs. The order is primarily focused on aircraft replacement but with scope to allow for growth depending on market conditions.

QANTAS Group Pilot Academy

With fleet renewal and network growth, the QANTAS Group is undergoing the largest pilot recruitment and training initiative in its history.

Since 2016, the Group has hired almost 600 new pilots in Australia, with another 350 to be recruited by the end of this calendar year.

As part of creating an ongoing talent pipeline, the national carrier will establish the Qantas Group Pilot Academy in 2019. The academy will initially focus on training up to 100 new pilots per year for direct entry to the Group, but will explore the potential to become a major training centre to meet strong demand for pilots in the region. (See separate release.) It will represent an investment of up to $20 million of setup costs in FY19.

Investing in product

QANTAS has also announced additional investments in customer experience, including:

  • A complete redevelopment of its Sydney International Business Lounge, including reconfiguration of the existing floorplan to increase capacity by 30 per cent. (See separate release.)
  • An upgrade to the cabins of QantasLink’s 45 fleet of turboprop aircraft, used on regional routes. (See separate release.)
  • Continued rollout of domestic Wi-Fi at a rate of approximately one aircraft per week, with 22 Boeing 737s already internet enabled.
  • Ongoing development of Project Sunrise to achieve the goal of direct flights to London and New York from the east coast of Australia by 2022.

OUTLOOK

Looking forward, the Group expects healthy consumer demand growth consistent with an improved global outlook. The Group’s current operating expectations[4] (opens in new window) are:

  • Total QANTAS Group capacity is expected to increase by ~1% in 2H18[5] (opens in new window).
    • Group Domestic capacity expected to decrease by ~1%. Continued growth in unit revenue is expected.
    • Group International capacity expected to increase by ~2-3% compared with competitor capacity growth of ~5%[6] (opens in new window). Unit revenue growth is expected to continue.
  • FY18 fuel cost expected to be no more than $3.24b.
  • FY18 transformation benefits expected to be greater than $400million.
  • Capital expenditure net of asset sales expected to be $3.0b for FY18 and FY19 combined.

[1] (opens in new window) Source: Based on 12 months to June 2017. APRA Operations of Private Health Insurers Annual Report 2016-2017 and nib policyholder data.

[2] (opens in new window) Average Qantas Assure premium increase from 1 April 2018 is 0.48% compared with an industry average of 3.95% Source: as reported by Australian Government Department of Health; excludes the Australian Government Rebate.

[3] (opens in new window) December 2017 compared with December 2016. Source: RBA Credit and Card Charges Statistics.

[4] (opens in new window) For detailed outlook statement, please refer to Investor Presentation.

[5] (opens in new window) Compared to 2H17.

[6] (opens in new window) Compared to 2H17.

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VH-ZNA (msn 39038) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 940396.

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show:

 

World’s first US-Australia biofuel flight takes off

First QANTAS Boeing 787-9, delivered on October 17, 2017

QANTAS Airways issued this statement today:

The world’s first dedicated biofuel flight between the United States and Australia, flight QF96 from Los Angeles to Melbourne, departed last night.

The historic trans-Pacific 15 hour flight operated with approximately 24,000kg of blended biofuel, saving 18,000kg in carbon emissions.

QANTAS will use biofuel processed from Brassica Carinata, a non-food, industrial type of mustard seed, developed by Canadian-based agricultural-technology company, Agrisoma Biosciences (Agrisoma).

The flight is part of the partnership announced in 2017 which will also see the companies work with Australian farmers to grow the country’s first commercial aviation biofuel seed crop by 2020.

QANTAS International CEO Alison Webster said it was fitting that the airline’s game-changing Dreamliner 787-9 will showcase the future of sustainable aviation.

 

Across its lifecycle, using Carinata-derived biofuel can reduce carbon emissions by eighty percent compared to traditional jet fuel.

The ten percent biofuel blend used on today’s flight will therefore see a seven percent reduction in emissions on this route compared to normal operations.

Carinita requires no specialized production or processing techniques. It is water efficient and The University of Queensland field trials in Gatton, Queensland, and in Bordertown, South Australia, have demonstrated it should do very well in the Australian climate.

It is sown in either fallow areas where food crops fail or in between regular crop cycles, known as “cover cropping”.  Rotational or break-crops can improve soil quality, reduce erosion for food crops and provide farmers with additional income.

 

QANTAS’ first trans-Pacific biofuel flight was made possible with the support of AltAir Fuels and World Fuel Services.

QF96 departed LAX on Sunday, January 28 and arrive in Melbourne on January 30 (local time).

In 2012 QANTAS and Jetstar operated Australia’s first biofuel trial flights. QANTAS’ A330 Sydney-Adelaide return service and Jetstar’s A320 Melbourne-Hobart return service were both powered with biofuel derived from used cooking oil (split with 50:50 convential jet fuel) certified for use in commercial aviation.

Tio Copyright Photo (all others by QANTAS): QANTAS Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VH-ZNA (msn 39038) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 940396.

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show:

Melbourne – San Francisco service to start on September 1, 2018

QANTAS Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VH-ZNA (msn 39038) LAX (Ron Monroe). Image: 940297.

QANTAS Airways has announced the start date of September 1, 2018 for its new Melbourne to San Francisco service.

The QANTAS Dreamliner features 236 seats across three cabins including the Business Suite, nicknamed “mini First Class” by some frequent flyers, as well as a next generation Premium Economy seat and a significantly improved Economy seat with extra storage compartments and device charging outlets.

To facilitate the new direct Melbourne – San Francisco service four times per week, QANTAS’ Melbourne – Los Angeles Dreamliner flights will move from six to two services per week. QANTAS will continue to operate daily Airbus A380 flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles.

QANTAS’ Melbourne – San Francisco and Melbourne – Los Angeles schedule*

Route Flight Dep Time^ Arr Time^ Frequency Aircraft
MEL-SFO QF 49 2140** 1900 Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun B789
MEL-LAX QF 95 2140** 1900 Mon, Fri B789
MEL-LAX QF 93 0905** 0635 Daily A380
SFO-MEL QF 50 2200 0630+2** Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun B789
LAX-MEL QF 96 2355 0825+2** Tues, Fri B789
LAX-MEL QF94 2255 0750+2** Daily A380

* Subject to government and regulatory approvals.
^Times above are local.
** 1 hour later in DS

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VH-ZNA (msn 39038) LAX (Ron Monroe). Image: 940297.

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show:

QANTAS’ first Boeing 787 will arrive in Sydney on October 20

QANTAS Airways has unveiled its first Boeing Dreamliner, the game-changing aircraft that will open up new routes and new levels of comfort for travellers.

The latest addition to the QANTAS fleet, the 787-9 Dreamliner features next generation seating in Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class (below), with more space and a lower passenger count than most of its competitors.

Other Dreamliner features include larger windows to create a greater sense of space, better air quality to help reduce jetlag and ride dampening technology to minimise the effects of turbulence. It is also quieter, more fuel efficient and generates fewer greenhouse emissions than similarly-sized aircraft.

At a ceremony at the Boeing factory in Seattle, QANTAS Group CEO Alan Joyce said the first Dreamliner signaled the start of an exciting new era for the national carrier and for the travelling public.

“The Dreamliner makes routes like Perth to London possible, which will be the first direct air link Australia has ever had with Europe. And it means other potential routes are now on the drawing board as well.

“There are lots of elements that combine to make the QANTAS Dreamliner special. The seats, the lighting, the entertainment, personal storage, right through to the special crockery, cutlery and glassware that weighs on average 11 per cent less.

“We’re working with sleep specialists, dieticians and other scientists at the University of Sydney to see how adjustments to our inflight service can improve wellbeing and help people adjust to new timezones,” added Mr Joyce.

The interiors of the aircraft and seating were shaped by Australian industrial designer David Caon who has collaborated with QANTAS on cabin upgrades and its lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong.

A total of eight Dreamliners will be delivered to QANTAS by the end of 2018, enabling the retirement of five of the airline’s 747s (below).

QANTAS Airways Boeing 747-438 VH-OJL (msn 25151) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 921533.

Above Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways Boeing 747-438 VH-OJL (msn 25151) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 921533.

Two Dreamliner routes have been announced so far – Melbourne to Los Angeles starting in December this year and Perth to London starting in March next year. Additional flights from Brisbane have also been flagged.

The name ‘Great Southern Land’ was chosen for the first aircraft out of 45,000 suggestions from the travelling public. Each Dreamliner will be named after something that is uniquely Australian, including animals, places and literature.

As part of the aircraft unveiling in Seattle, Australian band, Icehouse, performed its anthemic 1982 song Great Southern Land, the inspiration for which came to singer and songwriter, Iva Davies, as his Qantas flight crossed the country’s red centre.

The Dreamliner is painted in QANTAS’ updated livery, first revealed in late 2016 in preparation for new aircraft entering the fleet and the airline’s centenary in 2020. This marks only the fifth time the iconic Flying Kangaroo has been updated, with those updates traditionally coinciding with the introduction of a significant new aircraft type.

The Dreamliner, registered as VH-ZNA, is scheduled to land in Sydney on the morning of  October 20, 2017 after it performs a flyover of Sydney Harbour, weather and air traffic control permitting.

All photos by QANTAS Airways except the Boeing 747.