MIAMI – For the first time in seven years, Qantas (QF) lands a one-off repatriation flight at Frankfurt Airport (FRA), its first-ever nonstop service between Frankfurt and Australia.

Bringing Autralians back Home

While the airport announced today the landing of a QF Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, the airline had already made public various special services in November. More than 36,000 Australians have expressed their desire to come back home to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The airline’s repatriation flights also include three more from London Heathrow (LHR), Paris-Charles De Gaulle (CDG) and Chennai International Airport (MAA) for the remainder of 2020. Another five destinations are part of the special repatriation flight schedule set for early 2021. 

Qantas Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNA. Photo: BriYYZ.

Could There be a Regular QF-FRA Service Again on the Horizon?

In 2013, QF ceased its services to FRA. The last flight took place on April 14 on board the airline’s first Boeing 747 aircraft. The reason behind the decision to stop the rout was that QF joined Emirates (EK) on a flying partnership that changed the route via Singapore to that via Dubai.

As QF’s Queen of the skies has been retired from its operations, today’s flight could open new possibilities for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, a candidate aircraft for QF’s Project Sunrise, which was put on hold due to the pandemic. Under the project, QF put an FRA on its map as a new destination.

Last December, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce told Executive Traveller that GDG and FRA had the potential to be two Boeing 787-9 routes from Perth Airport (PER). These airports could join LHR’s current regular service. At that time, QF and PER disputes put a stop on the additional flights. A year later, these routes are a reality via Sydney-Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD).

Through a different strategy than that it had previously imagined, QF has another opportunity to test its non-stop flights prior to its restart of Project Sunrise.

Featured photo: Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Frankfurt Airport.