The new Qantas Boeing Dreamliner will officially be hitting the skies this week, as the plane’s red ribbon was cut yesterday at the Boeing factory in Seattle by CEO Alan Joyce.
The “game-changing” aircraft is set to open up new routes and treat guests to new levels of comfort, and also features better seating in Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class, with more space and a lower passenger count than most other airlines, according to Qantas.
At the ceremony in Seattle, Joyce said the first Dreamliner signaled the start of an exciting new era for the national carrier and for the travelling public.
“Taking delivery of a new type of aircraft is always an important milestone for an airline and the 787 is a game-changer. 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.
“There are lots of elements that combine to make the Qantas Dreamliner special. The seats, the lighting, the entertainment, personal storage, right through to the special crockery, cutlery and glassware that weighs on average 11 per cent 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 timezones,” added Mr Joyce.
A total of eight Dreamliners will be delivered to Qantas by the end of 2018, enabling the retirement of five of the airline’s 747s.
Two Dreamliner routes have been announced so far – Melbourne to Los Angles starting in December this year and Perth to London starting in March next year. Additional flights from Brisbane have also been flagged.
The Dreamliner, registered as VH-ZNA, is scheduled to land in Sydney on the morning of 20 October after it performs a flyover of Sydney Harbour, weather and air traffic control permitting.
The name of the aircraft, Great Southern Land, was chosen out of a pool of 45,000 suggested names, following a competition where the airline asked the public to name the new fleet.
Sadly, Flighty McFlightface will never take to the skies.