SEATTLE — On Monday afternoon, Qantas unveiled its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in an exciting delivery ceremony at Everett facility. The newest addition to the Qantas fleet will feature 236 seats in a three-class configuration: Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy. Qantas has given its passengers more space and a lower passenger count than most of its competitors in the Dreamliner Family.
During the ceremony, the Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said the first Dreamliner marks the start of an exciting new era for the carrier and customers.
“Taking delivery of a new type of aircraft is always an important milestone for any airline and the Boeing 787 is a game changer,”Joyce said at the press briefing before the unveil. “From the distance its able to fly, to the attention to detail we’ve put into the cabin design, it will reshape what people come to expect from international travel.”
“The Dreamliner makes routes like Perth to London nonstop possible, which will be the first direct air ink Australia has ever had with Europe. It also means other potential routes are now on the drawing board as well for Qantas.”
Qantas decided to have some fun with its fans, letting them submit names for the Boeing 787’s aircraft while they are delivered. Names will be chosen after something that is uniquely Australian, including animals, places, and literature.
The selection for its first Dreamliner name was made after 45,000 customer’s submissions, coming out winner “Great Southern Land,” like Icehouse anthemic 1982 song that was also performed by the band as part of the delivery ceremony.
First Nonstop Flight Between London and Australia
The Australian carrier plans to launch the new service from Perth to London in March 2018. It will become the longest Boeing 787-9 route in the world and will be the first nonstop flights between the UK and Australia.
“There are lots of elements that combine to make the Qantas Dreamliner special. The seats, the lighting, the entertainment system, personal storage right through the special crockery, cutlery an glassware that weighs on average 11 percent less,” Joyce added.
“We’re working with sleep specialists, dietitians and other scientists at the University of Sydney to see how adjustments to our in-flight service can improve wellbeing and help people adjust to new time zones,” he said.
Customers will also have the option to select mood lighting to illuminate the area underneath the entertainment screen, as well as the already known features in basic Economy, like reading light an air vent located above every seat.
The interior of the aircraft and seating were shaped by Australian Industrial Designer, David Caon, who has collaborated on Qantas’ cabin upgrades and lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong.
A total of eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will be delivered between tomorrow and the end of 2018, enabling Qantas to retire five of the airline’s iconic Boeing 747s.
First Route: Melbourne – Los Angeles
The carrier plans to put its first 787-9 into service later this year on its Melbourne to Los Angeles flight and then eventually on the airline’s new Perth – London route. Additional flights from Brisbane have also been flagged by the carrier but there are no official announcements yet.
The Dreamliner is painted in Qantas’ updated livery that was revealed in 2016 to receive their first Boeing 787 and the airline’s centenary in 2020. This is the fifth time the iconic Flying Kangaroo has been updated, traditionally coinciding with the delivery of a significant new aircraft.
Qantas first Boeing 787-9, registered as VH-ZNA, will depart from Paine Field on Tuesday morning to make a stopover in Honolulu before continuing on to Sydney where it is scheduled to arrive the morning of October 20. It is expected the aircraft performs a flyover of Sydney Harbor, subject to air traffic control approval.