International service renaissance at Brisbane Airport

Qantas has chosen Brisbane Airport as its new base for four Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft opening up new potential international routes and possibly starting an international service renaissance at the airport.

The first of eight Dreamliners ordered by the national carrier will be delivered from Boeing in late October 2017, and the first to be based in Brisbane will arrive in mid-2018. All four Brisbane-based aircraft will be in place by the end of 2018.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce believes basing four of the carrier’s Dreamliners in Brisbane will help drive international tourism into the state over the long term.

“Queensland is the birthplace of Qantas and it’s fitting that we will base four of our Dreamliners in the state. The 787 offers a step-change for customers in terms of comfort and efficiency and we are pleased Queenslanders will be able to experience them direct from Brisbane.”

The question remains, what routes will benefit from utilising these aircraft? Mr Joyce didn’t exactly clear up that question stating: “We’ve said that initially our Dreamliners will replace the routes that our older 747 fly but there are also new destinations we are looking at given the capability of the aircraft. A range of exciting options is on the table that will help drive tourism to the state and we look forward to making that decision in coming months.”

Qantas did however go on to list a range of possible options all viable from Brisbane with the 787-9: “From Brisbane, the Qantas Dreamliner is capable of flying non-stop to destinations such as Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco in the United States, Vancouver in Canada, as well as Asia.” Even Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director Julieanne Alroe confirmed the 787-9’s would service North America, even going as far as to say it would “position Brisbane as the new gateway for access into North America.”

Last financial year Brisbane Airport recorded its strongest international growth of 7% over the last decade, with today’s announcement by Qantas further positioning BNE Airport for strong growth in years to come.

Brisbane Airport annual international traffic: 2008 – 2016

Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and Brisbane Airport Reports

Brisbane Airport monthly international traffic: 2008 – 2016

Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and Brisbane Airport Reports