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First Qantas Dreamliner in Sydney flyover this Friday

October 18, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

If you like the iconic Aussie band Icehouse you’ll approve of the name of the first Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the game-changing aircraft Qantas collected from the Boeing factory in Seattle yesterday and which promises to open up new routes.

The Dreamliner, registered as VH-ZNA, is scheduled to perform a flyover of Sydney Harbour (weather and air traffic control permitting) this Friday morning, 20 October 2017, before landing at Sydney Airport.

The latest addition to the Qantas fleet is called Great Southern Land, after one of Icehouse’s greatest hits. The name topped a poll in which the public were asked to come up with names for the new Dreamliner fleet. A few wild ones, like “Fair Crack of the Whip” failed to make the final muster.

Business cabin

“Hey Little Girl” was another memorable track from the same Icehouse album as “Great Southern Land” (Primitive Man, released in 1982) but that never quite made it onto the Qantas charts either. Probably just as well.

Back to the new Dreamliner, Jetstar already flies them, but Jetstar has the shorter, B787-8 version. Great Southern Land is the first of the longer version (B787-9) that Qantas will receive. It features new seating in economy, premium economy and business class, “with more space and a lower passenger count than most of its competitors” according to Qantas.

It’s fitted with 42 business class seats; 28 premium economy seats and 166 economy seats. Configuration is 3x3x3 in economy, 2x3x2 in premium economy and 1x2x1 in business class.

Eight Dreamliners will be delivered to Qantas by the end of 2018, enabling the retirement of five of the airline’s B747s.

Collecting Great Southern Land from the Boeing factory in Seattle. Qantas cabin crew, from left, Alloyesha Newman, chief executive Alan Joyce, Icehouse frontman Iva Davies and Captain Alex Passerini 

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.

At a ceremony at the Boeing factory in Seattle, Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said the first Dreamliner signalled the start of an exciting new era for the national carrier and for the travelling public.

“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.

Economy cabin

“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% 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 time zones,” Joyce added.

Premium economy cabin

Dreamliner features include larger windows to create a greater sense of space, better air quality to help reduce jetlag and ride dampening technology to minimise the effects of turbulence. It is also quieter, more fuel efficient and generates fewer greenhouse emissions than similarly-sized aircraft.

The interiors of the new aircraft and seating were created by Australian industrial designer David Caon who has collaborated with Qantas on cabin upgrades and its lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong.

The name Great Southern Land was chosen for the first aircraft out of 45,000 suggestions from the travelling public. Each Dreamliner will be named after something that is uniquely Australian, including animals, places and literature.

The Qantas roo regains its wings

As part of the aircraft unveiling in Seattle, Australian band, Icehouse, performed its anthemic 1982 song Great Southern Land, the inspiration for which came to singer and songwriter, Iva Davies, as his Qantas flight crossed the country’s red centre.

The Dreamliner is painted in Qantas’ updated livery – the return of the Flying Kangaroo – first revealed in late 2016 in preparation for new aircraft entering the fleet and the airline’s centenary in 2020. This marks only the fifth time the iconic Flying Kangaroo has been updated, with those updates traditionally coinciding with the introduction of a significant new aircraft type.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    Watched Mr Joyce on Today show walking through the B787 and saying “Some airlines call it First Class, we call it Business Class”. No Mr Joyce, other airlines have been calling it Business Class for years. With the new B787 cabin, QF is playing catch up by offering a standard that other carriers have long been offering, i.e. a 1x2x1 cabin where everyone has flat beds and immediate aisle access. Shame QF can’t offer the same product on their 747s or their A380s or even some of their A330s. It’s galling to gloat over one new aircraft when they still operate international aircraft with 2x2x2 uncomfortable angled-flat beds, something that carriers from third world countries have dispensed with.

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