An Interesting 24 Hours For Qantas (747 Retirement, Inaugural BNE-SFO, 787 Tail Strike)

Yesterday, February 9, 2020, Qantas had a pretty interesting day of operations…

1. Qantas Retires Its First Boeing 747-400ER


VH-OEF’s final departure from Australia
Image by @www16Right

Qantas has retired another Boeing 747, this time its their first -400ER variant. VH-OEF flew its final revenue service from Sydney to Los Angeles before it heads off to the desert (Victorville I think?)

The aircraft arrived in Los Angeles at around 1:52 p.m. local time.

VH-OEF, named “Sydney”, features the Oneworld livery. This aircraft is relatively young as it was delivered to Qantas in October 2002, making it 17.4 years old.

Now, only 4 Boeing 747s (all -400ERs) remain in the fleet.

2. Qantas Inaugurates Brisbane To San Francisco Route

Yesterday, Qantas inaugurated its newest long-haul route: Brisbane to San Francisco.

The flight, operated by VH-ZNI, departed Brisbane at 8:43 p.m. local time and arrived in San Francisco at 3:21 p.m. local time.

  • The 12-hour 40 minute, 11,367km Brisbane to San Francisco represents the first time the two cities have been linked.
  • According to Qantas, forward bookings on this route are doing well.

More info here: https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/media-releases/qantas-takes-off-from-the-sunshine-state-to-the-golden-gate/

3. Qantas 787-9 Suspected Tail Strike Upon Takeoff From London


(Image by Victor Pody on JetPhotos)

Wrote about this earlier in the Storm Ciara topic. VH-ZND, the Yam Dreaming Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, had a suspected tail strike upon takeoff.

The aircraft held over the U.K. for about an hour before making a successful landing back in London Heathrow at 1:57 p.m. local time.

The aircraft was inspected and they found no significant damage but QF#10 from London Heathrow to Perth was cancelled for the day.

It’s unconfirmed if VH-ZND is out of service at the moment.


So… fun day of ops for Qantas. Technically everything occurred within 12 hours.

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Well, guess Qantas had an eventful day today

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The rest of Qantas’ B744’s (including this one) are going to General Electric as testbeds…


Yes, an interesting 24 hours for Qantas indeed…

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I must say, the whole industry has had an interesting 24 hours! New JFK-LHR record, UTair incident, Qantas 747, Qantas tailstrike, New Qantas Route, what else?! 😂

Great post as always Ishrion, always a pleasure to read!

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Definitely an eventful day - btw Storm Ciara caused an absolute nightmare to try and do work 😂😂

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I thought only one of the 747s were purchased by GE to be used as test beds? The one retired before last (yesterday’s)? They are modular testbeds and expensive so multiple would be absolute overkill.

And yeah they’re destined for Victorville to await purchase and reuse or recycling. The only Oneworld livery aircraft left in Qantas’ fleet is an A330-200. Definitely an eventful day for Qantas. They’ve been busy over the past week decontaminating a 747 for 36 hours at a time between the evacuation legs it took to Wuhan and Tokyo, and it’s being prepared for passenger use to return to service. All for it to be retired this year along with the remaining four 747-400ERs. The only 747ERs ever built in the world!

Edit: Apparently this 747 was purchased by the royal family?? She was well kept and maintained after all.

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hmm. You may be correct. From what I heard the rest of them were off to GE.

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What busy day for Qantas! 🤔

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Interesting read! Sad to see that Qantas is retiring their 747s, but it makes way for more fuel efficient aircraft in the future. Hope the Yam Dreaming gets back in the air soon! Love that livery! The BNE —> SFO route will be helpful if I ever wanted to fly to Australia, although I believe they already had a SFO —> SYD flight. Good to see it anyways.

Qantas actually used to operate the 747 on this route in the 1980s via Honolulu/Cairns 👀


Anyways, seems like Qantas had a lot of things going on yesterday!

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Directly linked*

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Looks like VH-OEF flew to San Bernardino after having its livery scrapped. So… it’s not going to Victorville, then?