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.
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.
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 â€“ London route. Additional flights from Brisbane have also been flagged by the carrier but there are no official announcements yet.
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.