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Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner will make a return to Sydney's skies this week – and this time it'll take some lucky passengers for a ride.
Qantas is hosting the next-gen jetliner’s second visit to Sydney on Thursday May 24 as part of the final leg of Boeing’s global DreamTour series of promotional flights, following the Dreamliner's down-under debut in November last year.
But unlike that first 787, which was packing racks of sophisticated test equipment, this week’s visit will feature a Dreamliner dressed to impress.
The DreamTour airplane – bearing registration number N787BX, serial number ZA003 and flying under callsign BOE 787, if you’re into that sort of thing – is designed to showcase key ‘passenger experience’ features of the 787.
This includes the large welcoming entrance, super-sized windows with electronic dimming, bigger overhead and dynamic LED lighting.
We're going on a test flight...
The airplane is also configured with 135 seats, 35 of which (that's as many as aviation authorities will allow on this test aircraft) will carry an exclusive invitation-only group of media on a special flight from Sydney to Brisbane and back on Saturday May 26.
The Qantas-Boeing 'Dream Flight' departs Sydney Airport at 10.30am and arrives into Brisbane Airport around 12.30pm. The Dreamliner’s return flight will leave Brisbane at 5pm and touchdown in Sydney at 6.30pm.
Australian Business Traveller will be on that flight, so keep an eye on the @AusBT Twitter channel for on-the-spot photos and live updates.
The Dreamliner will also make a flight from Sydney to Melbourne and back on Sunday May 27, before spending its last day in Sydney on Monday May 28.
Want to visit the 787 while it's in Sydney? 10 members of the AusBT community will be guests of Boeing on a guided tour of the Dreamliner on Monday May 28 – click here for the details!
On Tuesday morning the 787 will fly out of Sydney for New Zealand, before returning to Australia for one day in Darwin on Thursday May 31.
Qantas has big plans for Boeing's mid-sized plane
Qantas has placed one of the world’s largest orders for the Boeing 787, which is constructed from 50 per cent composite materials and according to Boeing uses 20 per cent less fuel and has a noise footprint 60 per cent lower than similarly-sized aircraft.
Jetstar will get 15 Dreamliners, specifically the smaller 787-8 model, beginning mid-2013.
This will fly routes including Melbourne-Singapore, Auckland-Singapore and Singapore-Beijing, along with services from Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast to destinations in Asia as well as Honolulu.
Starting in 2015-2016 Qantas will take delivery of 35 of the longer Boeing 787-9 series, with this second serve of Dreamliners to be split between Jetstar and Qantas.
The Qantas’ 787s will be fitted with 275 seats across business class, premium economy and economy, compared to an estimated 300 seats in a two-class business/economy layout on the first Jetstar 787-8s.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has already earmarked the Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth route, which currently relies on Qantas’ long-range Boeing 747-400ER aircraft, as one of the first routes for his 787-9s.
“We’ve already seen how good Dallas is with the 747” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told Australian Business Traveller last year. “Imagine how good it will be with the 787 on that network.”
In addition to replacing Qantas' aging Boeing 747s, Joyce said the 787 “gives us the extra range to open up new direct routes that we can’t service today”, on top of “more frequencies and more destinations in Asia.”
Further down the track, Qantas will inherit some of Jetstar's 787-8s for domestic service, ranging from the 'golden triangle' of Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne to the cross-country trek between the east coast and Perth.
“We have the flexibility to play the 787 into either (the international or domestic) space” explains Lyell Strambi, Qantas Group Executive for Operations.
“In the short term domestic is secondary (for the 787), but in the long term it’s a primary role” Strambi told Australian Business Traveller.
For more news, reviews and the very latest info for business travellers, follow us on Twitter: we're @AusBT.
Also in AusBT's extensive coverage of Boeing 787 Dreamliner...
We take you up close and personal with the first Boeing 787 tour, which flew into Sydney last November. Read more...
Check out the cool and potentially shagadelhic upstairs 'loft' space used by pilot and flight attendants during their scheduled breaks from duty on the 787. Read more...
Bothersome sliding window shades begone! Boeing’s newly-minted 787 Dreamliner sports ‘digital window tinting’ which makes the glass go dark at the touch of a button. Read more...
Japanese airline ANA is Boeing's launch customer for the 787 Dreamliner – step right up for a 'virtual photo tour' of ANA's factory-fresh 787 which we snapped during Boeing's launch of the Dreamliner in Seattle. Read more...
What's it like to fly in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner? We visited Tokyo as a guest of ANA for a special 90 minute ‘excursion flight’ from Narita which provided a taste of what the Dreamliner will deliver for travellers (and yes, there's much more than rainbow-like cabin lighting). Read more...
JAL followed in the footsteps of competitor ANA with delivery of its first 787. Read more...
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