Qantas ends 39 years of Boeing 767 operations as last 767 freighter retires    

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Qantas has finally bid farewell to its last Boeing 767 aircraft, 39 years after receiving its first of the type back in 1985. The last remaining 767, a dedicated freighter variant, operated its last flight on behalf of the carrier’s cargo division, Qantas Freight, on Friday, May 17, 2024, from Hong Kong (HKG) to Sydney (SYD) as QF7526. 

According to ch-aviation, the sole remaining 767 aircraft is 18.3 years old and was delivered new, as a freighter, to All Nippon Airways in Japan in February 2006. It was sold to Qantas in February 2011 for use by its subsidiary company, Express Freighters Australia, on its behalf, where it operated in full Qantas Freight livery.  

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Over the past four decades, the carrier has operated a total of 41 Boeing 767s, including 767-200s, 767-300s, and the 767-300F. The first aircraft, VH-EAJ, arrived with the airline on July 5, 1985, clocking up over 59,000 flight hours before it was retired in 2003. All of the airline’s passenger-carrying 767 fleet had been retired by the end of 2014, having carried over 168 million passengers on 927,000 separate flights.      

Qantas Freight is currently undergoing a fleet renewal program in parallel to the parent company’s switch to a predominantly Airbus-equipped operation. The division is introducing more Airbus A330Fs and A321Fs into its fleet, replacing older Boeing 737-300s and 737-400s, plus the 767-300 which has just retired. The company also has four British Aerospace 146 freighters for use on shorter routes. 

Records show that, despite this particular 767F being retired from service, there are another 280 767-300 freighters still in operation with 14 airlines worldwide. This number excludes other 767-300s that were built as passenger variants but which have since been converted to freighters, of which there are still 233 operating with 30 carriers.   

For now, the Qantas Freight fleet comprises four Airbus A321 freighters, two A330 freighters, one 737-300F, two 747-400Fs, two 146-200s, and two 146-300s. The remaining 737s are all due to be removed from the company’s fleet by the end of 2024. 

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