Qantas has pulled back the curtains on the interior of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, revealing a contemporary cabin design with business class suites and economy seats boasting extra legroom and creature comforts such as an iPad holder.
The reveal comes as the clock continues to count down towards the delivery of the first red-tailed Boeing 787-9 in October 2017, with more of the advanced jets to follow.
Qantas plans to announce the inaugural Boeing 787 route in December this year, with the Dreamliner slotting into an existing Boeing 747 route.
Brand new Boeing 787 routes to expand the Qantas network will be announced from early 2017, with Qantas hoping to cherry-pick from a list including Melbourne-Dallas, Brisbane-Dallas, Sydney-Paris, Melbourne-Rome and eventually a non-stop Perth-London service.
Oh, and it'll sport the streamlined new-look Qantas livery too...
Qantas Boeing 787-9 configuration
As previously tipped by Australian Business Traveller, the Qantas Dreamliners will have
- 42 business class seats in a 1-2-1 layout
- 28 premium economy seats in four rows of 2-3-2
- 166 economy seats arranged 3-3-3, but with a comfy 32 inch seat pitch
That's a total of 236 passengers, which gives the red-tailed Boeing 787-9 one of the world's least-squeezy layouts.
By comparison, Air New Zealand's three-class Boeing 787-9 has 302 seats.
The equivalent Dreamliners of Air Canada – currently flying Brisbane-Vancouver – come in at 298 seats, with United Airlines – which rosters its Boeing 787-9 from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles and San Francisco – at 252 seats.
(By comparison, Japan's ANA flies just 215 seats on its Dreamliner, with rival JAL sporting a spacious 195-seat layout.)
“We’re planning to make the most of the 787’s amazing range, so we’ve designed the cabin to give Qantas passengers a better experience on long haul flights" said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce,
"With the routes we're looking at, that premium end is going to be sought after" Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told Australian Business Traveller.
"The direct flights on these routes will have a lot of premium traffic, so we think it will be very heavily patronised by business class and premium economy customers."
"We’re also redesigning the in-flight experience for the Dreamliner, from rethinking our menus to making better use of the self-service bars during different phases of flight."
Qantas has enlisted young hotshot Australian industrial designer David Caon to shape the Dreamliner's cabin interiors and new seats, working from the "Qantas aesthetic" established by Marc Newson.
Still to be revealed: an all-new premium economy seat designed by Thompson Aero, which Joyce promises will be "revolutionary."
But as advanced as the Dreamliner is, Qantas hasn't yet decided if it will include inflight Internet.
"We're working through that at the moment" Joyce told Australian Business Traveller. "Our priority at the moment is wi-fi domestically, so we haven't made call on the 787s as yet."
Inside the Qantas Boeing 787
From tip to tail the Dreamliner cabins will see "a progression of colours and finishes as you move through the cabin," designer Caon told Australian Business Traveller.
"You're seeing two ends right now, in business and economy, and obviously there's a part in the middle that's not being revealed today."