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A birds-eye view of Jetstar's new Boeing 787

By David Flynn     Filed under: Jetstar, Boeing 787 Dreamliner

We've seen the glossy PR photos of Jetstar's first Boeing 787 as it rolled out of Boeing's paintshop in Seattle earlier this month...

... but now here's a more realistic shot of the JQ Dreamliner, snapped as it sat basking in the sun outside Boeing's 787 facility at Paine Field.

Jetstar's silver-and-orange livery is more obvious in this photo, although when you get up close the paintwork is more of a metallic mica finish.

In addition to showcasing the 787's sharp upswept wings, this photo also gives you a better grasp of the 787's relatively compact size, with Jetstar's version carrying only 335 passengers – it's no lanky strech-limo of the skies.

This is the first of three Boeing 787-8s due this year for Jetstar out of a total order of 14, which will replace Jetstar's current international Airbus A330s.

“All eleven of our Airbus A330s will transition to Qantas, we will be replacing them one for one with the 787, and by 2015 we will have a purely 787 longhaul fleet" Mark Dal Pra, who leads Jetstar’s 787 program, told Australian Business Traveller in Seattle earlier this year.

These will be followed by up to 50 of the 787-8 and larger 787-9s to be shared in an as-yet-undecided ratio between Qantas and Jetstar from 2016.

Read: Qantas, Jetstar and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner – what you need to know

Domestic Jetstar 787 flights from November

Although Jetstar's first Boeing 787 will touch down on Aussie soil in late September, it will need to receive flight approval from Australia's air safety regulator before carrying paid passengers.

Jetstar's publicity plan involves rostering the Boeing 787 onto selected domestic routes within Australia before moving onto full international services in December.

Popular routes from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth to the Gold Coast and Cairns are on the cards, although Jetstar has yet to make a final call on the 787's local and international launch routes.

The move will provide a “great window of opportunity for thousands of domestic travellers to experience the 787” says Dal Pra, and the 787‘s domestic services will be extensively marketed to the public.

Read: Jetstar to begin local Boeing 787 flights in November

Inside Jetstar's Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Jetstar’s Boeing 787 fleet will pack 335 travellers from tip to tail, with 21 business class seats and 314 in economy.

The Recaro business class seats will be arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration, with the slimline Pinnacle economy seats ranked in a 3-3-3 layout.

The seat pitch will be comparable to Jetstar’s current A330 fleet – around 38 inches in business class and 31 inches in economy – says Jetstar’s Dal Pra.

Jetstar has also opted to continue using a recliner in business class rather than an angled lie-flat seat.

“When you’re only flying five to ten hours, the amount the customers need to pay for a lie-flat seat, for the space it takes up, just doesn’t work out” Dal Pra told Australian Business Traveller.

Dal Pra says the airline has slightly reduced the number of business class seats to boost the size of the economy cabin, compared to its first plans.

Every seat will be equipped with a touchscreen video panel linked to a central Panasonic eX2 inflight entertainment system providing video on demand along with games and seat-to-seat chat.

Business class passengers will get a 10.6 inch display, with 9 inches in economy, and the system will allow ‘gate to gate’ use rather than having to switch off the screen during take-off and landing.

Every seat will have a USB socket for charging smartphones and tablets, with an AC power supply in each business class seat and shared between every two seats in economy.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we’re @AusBT


About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 27/8/13 by Marky

Exciting times ahead, provided Boeing have resolved the issues that troubled the aircraft previously. 

2 on 27/8/13 by sagidec

will QF decommission their B767? They've been discussing for a while but they've just refurbished the interior of that aircraft.

1 on 27/8/13 by RK

The A330's that are retunring to QF from JQ will be replacing the ageing 767's.

1 on 27/8/13 by watson374

Do we know which 763s will go first? I suppose the first to be replaced would be the ones operating international services, but with regard to Cityflyer, ISTR that the first 332s had problems with fast turnarounds (i.e. they came nowhere near matching the 45-min turnarounds of Cityflyer 763s, IIRC).

It will be interesting to watch.

1 on 2/9/13 by AJW

The first 767's to go are the Rolls Royce powered ones with some already gone.

Additionally if you count the number of A330's coming from Jetstar and count the number if 767's, you will find more 767's. The replacement plan is for the 767's to be replaced with A330's AND new build 738's.

So my guess is the tigher turnaround flights such as Syd-Mel will be replaced with frequency using the 738's with the A330's on longer less frequent routes. Ineed the recent annoucement on business class for the A330's would suggest this too as the beds are a bit of overkill for 1 hours flights, but longer less so.

1 on 2/9/13 by watson374

I understand the angle you're coming from, but I don't see how this is a viable option for SYD, considering that peak slots are already restricted.

2 on 2/9/13 by AJW

This has been known for a long time. Qantas gave the 767's a MINOR cabin refresh to get them through the next few years until the A330's come back. The major part of that refresh was fitting the streaming IFE, which will be easy to move from the 767's to the domestic A330's that will be coming back from Jetstar. Bearning in mind the early Jetstar A330's have no seat back IFE.

3 on 27/8/13 by watson374

Can't wait to see the interior!

4 on 27/8/13 by ausdt

You say that the JQ version will carry only 335 passengers. You should remember that JALs version carries 186 passengers. I think you can replace 'only' with a more apt phrase such as 'a whopping'. I imagine that a full 335 seat B787 will not be the most comfortable Y seat in town.

1 on 28/8/13 by watson374

You are aware, of course, that the JL version has one less seat per row in economy?

1 on 28/8/13 by ausdt

Which goes to my point about how many seats are crammed in!

2 on 28/8/13 by David

ausdt: if you read that paragraph again ("this photo also gives you a better grasp of the 787's relatively compact size...") you'll see that I am not drawing a comparison between Jetstar's 787 and other 787s. I'm talking about the 787 per se, and the fact that it's not the big jet which many people expect it to be. A lot of people (outside of aviation circles) on seeing a 787 in the flesh metal for the first time remark on how 'small' it is, and that they expected it to be larger. This photo really speaks to that.

1 on 28/8/13 by ausdt

Same reply applies... Which goes to my point about how many seats are crammed in!

1 on 28/8/13 by David

I think you're missing my point - my reference is not to Jetstar's 787 vs JAL's 787, it's more the size of the 787 as a plane.

1 on 28/8/13 by ausdt

No you're missing my point.

I agree that the B787-8 is compact!!! But you made the following statement:

"this photo also gives you a better grasp of the 787's relatively compact size, with Jetstar's version carrying only 335 passengers."

335 passengers on a compact plane like the 787-8 is HUGE!! JAL is one of many airlines against which the JQ seating density could be compared against. Your fixation on my reference to JAL means you are missing my point.

JQs seat count is the largest of all current or soon to be B787-8 operators! I think relative seating densities are of some relevance to the business traveller, and your use of the word "only" may lead the reader to draw the wrong inference about the seating density of JQs version. 

1 on 28/8/13 by David

We're at cross-purposes here, asudt. :)

"335 passengers on a compact plane like the 787-8 is HUGE!!" - but I'm not talking about planes 'like the 787-8', once again, this is about people's expectations that the 787-8 itself is a big plane. Again, as I said earlier: a lot of people (outside of aviation circles) on seeing a 787 in the flesh metal for the first time remark on how 'small' it is, and that they expected it to be larger. That's what this is about - the outside of the 787-8, not how many seats are on the inside.

Let me suggest that we're talking about two different things, and that both of us are right from our perspectives. :)


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