Australian national carrier Qantas has unveiled its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, VH-ZNA (c/n 39038). The jet, which has been named Great Southern Land, is due to arrive at the carrier’s Sydney base on October 20. Qantas intends to use the new jets, eight of which will be delivered to the airline by the end of 2018, on services from Melbourne to Los Angeles, and Perth to London. This will enable the oneworld alliance member to retire five Boeing 747s.
Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO, said the arrival of the first Dreamliner marked the start of an exciting new era for the airline.
“Taking delivery of a new type of aircraft is always an important milestone for an airline and the 787 is a game-changer,” he said. “From the distance it’s 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 possible, which will be the first direct air link Australia has ever had with Europe. And it means other potential routes are now on the drawing board as well.
The airline collaborated with Australian industrial designer David Caon on the interior design of the Dreamliner. Caon had worked with Qantas on previous cabin upgrades as well as its lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong.
“There are lots of elements that combine to make the Qantas Dreamliner special,” Joyce remarked. “The seats, the lighting, the entertainment, personal storage, right through to the special crockery, cutlery and glassware that weighs on average 11% less.
“We’re working with sleep specialists, dieticians and other scientists at the University of Sydney to see how adjustments to our inflight service can improve wellbeing and help people adjust to new time zones.”
Prior to its arrival in Sydney, the Dreamliner is due to perform a flypast over the city’s iconic harbour, subject to weather and air traffic control restrictions.