Qantas has unveiled its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which will feature next generation seating in Business Class and all other cabin classes, with more space and a lower passenger count than most of its competitors. A total of eight Dreamliners will be delivered to Qantas by the end of 2018, enabling Qantas to retire five of its older 747s.
The first Dreamliner has been named Great Southern Land, after Qantas listened to more than 45,000 suggestions from the travelling public. At the aircraft unveiling in Seattle, the Australian band Icehouse performed their hit song – Great Southern Land – which the aircraft is named after. The lead singer songwriter Iva Davies was inspired to write the lyrics as his Qantas flight crossed the country’s red centre.
Each Dreamliner will be named after something that is uniquely Australian, including animals, places and literature.
This next generation aircraft is known for being quieter and more fuel efficient, generating lower emissions than similar aircraft in its category. Passengers enjoy the larger electrochromic windows, which are dimmable at the touch of a button and create a greater sense of space. The aircraft also has better air quality, which helps to reduce jet lag, as well as dampening technology that is designed to minimise the effects of turbulence.
Australian industrial designer David Caon, who in the past has collaborated with Qantas on cabin upgrades and its lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong, designed the interiors and seating of the Dreamliner. The aircraft is painted in Qantas’ updated livery, which was first revealed in 2016 to mark the introduction of the new 787.
The Dreamliner 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.
At a ceremony at the Boeing factory in Seattle, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said:
“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.”
Two Dreamliner routes have been announced so far – Melbourne to Los Angeles starting in December this year and Perth to London starting in March next year. Additional flights from Brisbane have also been flagged.