Qantas has earmarked its longest flight – the 15 hour, 13,800km direct trek from Sydney to Dallas – as one of the launch routes for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
“We’ve already seen how good Dallas is with the 747” observed Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. “Imagine how good it will be with the 787 on that network.”
Qantas is still hazy over the arrival date of its first 787s, which Joyce described as “hopefully 2015 onwards” – although the airline has previously described the timetable as being in the 2015-2016 timeframe.
(Qantas’ budget offshoot Jetstar will actually get Australia’s first 787s, which also shown signs of slippage – the most recent official line has been ‘early 2013’ but during a pre-briefing chat this morning Joyce let slip with ‘mid-2013’.)
Update: this has now been confirmed by Jetstar as 'mid-2013'.
The Red Roo’s own 787-9 Dreamliners will be fitted with 275 seats across economy, premium economy and business class.
Jetstar’s smaller 787-8 version will sport a simplified two-class 300 seat layout of economy and business class, which will later slot into Qantas’ domestic network. Jetstar will also get some 787-9s which will pack in 350 passengers.
“The 787 is a real game-changer” a delighted and upbeat Joyce told Australian Business Traveller. “It’s a magnificent aircraft and it was worth the wait.”
In addition to replacing the 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.”