Qantas orders five more 737-800s, to revamp Airbus A330 cabins; retiring Boeing 737-400s by end of 2013 and Boeing 767s by mid-2015


22 February 2013 © David Eyre

Qantas has announced that it will order five more Boeing 737-800s and will upgrade the cabins of all of its Airbus A330s, allowing the airline to retire the final 16 Boeing 767s.

The extra five 737-800s will take Qantas fleet up to 75 aircraft. The airline has also extended two 737-800 leases.

ABOVE: VH-XZC Boeing 737-838 of Qantas, taking off from Perth’s runway 21 on 21 December 2012. Qantas has ordered five more of this type, and extended the leases on two already in the fleet.
Photo © David Eyre

The Boeing 737-400s will be retired during 2013.

ABOVE: VH-TJH Boeing 737-476 of Qantas, landing on Perth’s runway 21 on 29 March 2011. The 737-400s will all be retired by the end of 2013.
Photo © David Eyre

The GE-powered Boeing 767s (which are currently undergoing a cabin revamp) will be retired by mid-2015.

Roll-Royce powered 767s have already commenced being retired. On 11-12 December 2012,  VH-ZXB was flown from Sydney to Honolulu, Hawaii and then  Roswell, New Mexico for desert storage. VH-ZXA followed the same route on 12-13 February 2013, when it was retired.

ABOVE: VH-OGO Boeing 767-338ER of Qantas, taking off from Perth. Qantas has already begun retiring their Rolls-Royce RB211 power Boeing 767s, with two having gone already. The GE-powered examples, like VH-OGO, are undergoing a cabin refit, but all will be retired by mid-2015.
Photo © David Eyre

The A330 upgrade includes a refit of the economy class cabin, a new entertainment system and new lie-flat premium seats.  The cabin revamp would be undertaken during scheduled heavy maintenance on the A330s. The change affects 20 A330-200 in the domestic fleet and 10 A330-300s operating internationally. Although the A330-200s and -300s would have common cabins, Qantas plans to keep the two types separate, with the A330-200s operating for Qantas Domestic and the A330-300s with Qantas International.

ABOVE: VH-EBM Airbus A330-202 of Qantas, landing on runway 24 at Perth on 13 November 2012. Qantas is refitting the cabins of their entire A330 fleet, including those returning from their lease to Jetstar.
Photo © David Eyre

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

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