The Qantas 747 'jumbo' has just two years left to live

Qantas orders six more Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

Forecasting full year record underlying profit before tax of between $1.55 billion and $1.60 billion, Joyce announced the airline was buying six more Boeing "Dreamliner" 787-9s for its worldwide fleet, spelling the end for the remaining 10 747-400s in 2020, ahead of schedule.

Is this the sweet spot for Qantas' Boeing 787 fleet?

Mr Joyce said the new Qantas Dreamliners would arrive by the end of 2020, bringing its total fleet of the aircraft to 14.

Qantas has 10 747-400s now in service, comprising six GE-powered 747-400ERs (VH-OEE thru OEJ) delivered between 2002 and 2003, a single GE-powered 747-48E (VH-OEB, built for Asiana in 1993 and acquired by Qantas in 1998) and three RR-powered 747-438s (VH-OJS, OJT and OJU) delivered in 1999-2000.

Qantas now operates the world's longest Dreamliner flight, its London to Perth, Australia, route, known as the "Kangaroo Route". "It's fitting that its retirement is going to coincide with our centenary in 2020", Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.

Uzbekistan Airways now operates two Dreamliners on global routes, including Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan and USA.

The airline have also announced that they'll be launching a brand new training school in 2019, the Qantas Group Pilot Academy, and investing heavily in training simulators to get pilots up to scratch on the new aircraft.

The Dreamliner has around two-thirds of the capacity of a 747 (236 seats vs 364) but is 20% more fuel efficient and has a greater focus on higher yielding business and premium economy seats.

The Flying Kangaroo announced the order Wednesday in a third-quarter trading update that predicted an underlying profit before tax of $A1.55 billion to $A1.6 billion.

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But the airline argues the reduced maintenance needs of the 787s combined with more efficient utilization and reduced payload restrictions on longer routes will mean the impact on Qantas International's overall capacity will be negligible.

The airline now has 10 747-400s left and took the last delivery in 2003.

For the third quarter, revenue per available seat kilometre rose 8 per cent in the domestic market and was 5.2 per cent higher in the global market.

"We're seeing solid results from each of our business units, which is a reflection of broadly positive trading conditions and the work we've done to strengthen the group".

"A large part of our earnings momentum is driven by ongoing investment in customer experience".

"We've also continued to broaden our earning streams with health insurance and financial services under Qantas loyalty".

"Their new 787-8 Dreamliner will continue to contribute to the airline's success with its superior passenger experience and comfort, exceptional efficiency and low operating costs", said Marty Bentrott, VP, Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, for Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Central Asia and Africa.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.

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