UPDATE | Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner will make a second visit to Australia starting Thursday May 24, 2012 – and this time we'll be going on a test flight! Click here for all the details.
PREVIOUS | Jetstar is starting to reveal its Boeing 787 Dreamliner routes, with Melbourne-Singapore – and then Singapore-Beijing – among the first to see the next-gen jetliner from mid-2013.
These come on top of the Auckland-Singapore 787 service already announced by Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan last year, with Aviation Week reporting that the low-cost carrier is making “strong progress” toward basing three Boeing 787s in Singapore at launch, with more to follow.
With the arrival of each new 787 Dreamliner – and Jetstar has 15 of the base model 787-8s on order – the Qantas offshoot will retire one of the Airbus A330s which currently serve these Singapore routes.
(Click here to read our review of Jetstar's A330 'business class' premium cabin between Melbourne and Singapore, but note that there's an 11-hour stopover if you want to continue from Singapore through to Beijing.)
Jetstar says 787s will “gradually replace” the A330s currently used on the three long-haul international routes to Singapore. It had announced last year that 787s would be used on Singapore-Auckland, and its deployment on flights from Singapore to Melbourne and Beijing had also been signaled. Jetstar began flying Melbourne-Singapore-Beijing with A330s in November.
"The 787 is a quantum leap in aircraft technology and passenger comfort," Jetstar's Buchanan enthused last year. "It’s been said that the 787 represents the same kind of paradigm shift we saw with the first commercial jetliners in the 1950s and the 747 jumbos in the 1970s."
"The increased fuel economy, longer range and improved cabin experience make the 787 an absolute game-changer for passengers and airlines, so we’re really looking forward to offering it to our New Zealand customers on international flights."
First Qantas 787s expected by 2016
Lyell Strambi, Qantas Group Executive for Operations, told Australian Business Traveller that Qantas expects its first 787-9 to arrive “in the 2015 timeframe, so that’s 2015-16”.
“Internationally Jetstar needs the 787 in the short term and Qantas domestic needs it in the long term” Strambi explains, “so in the longer term we have the option to swing the 787-8 back into the domestic space when we retire the A330 fleet.”
For that reason Jetstar’s Dreamliners will be fitted with the same two-class configuration to match Qantas’ domestic needs, so that the Jetstar business class seats formerly known as Star Class will become Qantas domestic business class.
The Qantas 787s will be fitted with business, premium economy and economy class, Strambi says, and will be used for both international and domestic routes. “In the short term domestic is secondary but in the long term it’s a primary role.”
The Dreamliner will also replace the older Boeing 747s, which Qantas has already started to retire from its fleet – with the exception of the most recent models which are being upgraded with A380-style interiors.
“Our long term vision for international is just two aircraft types, the A380 and Boeing 787, although in the interim we’ll use the 747 for quite a few more years yet” Strambi predicts.
Also in AusBT's Boeing 787 Dreamliner coverage:
- Photos and flight report: ANA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner
- Photos: inside the Boeing 787's funky crew rest 'loft'
- Fan pays $32,700 for seat on first ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight
- Exclusive photo tour: inside ANA's new Boeing 787 Dreamliner
- Why business travellers will love the Boeing 787 Dreamliner
- Boeing’s 787 nixes first class for business, premium economy
- Boeing chooses Android for 787 Dreamliner's entertainment system