Australia's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner will land in Melbourne on Wednesday, marking the beginning of a new chapter for Jetstar and its parent Qantas.
The Boeing 787-8 is due to depart from Seattle's Paine Field Airport, adjacent to Boeing's 787 facility, on Monday October 7th at 11am, US Pacific time (5am Tuesday, Sydney time).
On board will be Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, Jetstar CEO Jayne Hrdlicka and a select group of airline analysts and media (including Australian Business Traveller).
Carrying the special flight number of JQ7878 the Dreamliner will reach Honolulu at 1.40pm (10.40am Sydney), where crew and passengers will spend the night, including Qantas' delivery flight tradition of sunset cocktails and a 'surf'n'turf' dinner.
Honolulu will also be one of Jetstar's Boeing 787 destinations, although the airline has not yet confirmed the Dreamliner's launch routes.
Click here to track Jetstar's first Boeing 787 delivery flight on FlightAware (note that the flight will be identified as JST7878 but won't appear until the Dreamliner is in the air.)
At 5.30am Tuesday, Honolulu time (2.30am Sydney) JQ7878 will be wheels-up and winging its way towards Australia on the final leg of its 13,200km delivery flight.
The Dreamliner is due to touch down in Melbourne at 1.05pm on Wednesday to a traditional water cannon salute, followed by a welcome ceremony at Jetstar's Hangar 141 featuring Victorian State Premier Denis Napthine and hundreds of Jetstar staff.
Australians will get their first chance to fly the next-gen jetliner in November, when Jetstar will roster the Boeing 787 onto selected but as-yet-unrevealed domestic routes as part of a 'bedding down' phase before moving to the start of full international services in December.
Each of Jetstar's Boeing 787-8 aircraft will pack 335 travellers from tip to tail, with 21 business class seats and 314 in economy.
Arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration with a 38 inch pitch, the business class seats are generous recliners rather than angled flat-beds.
Each includes a 10.6 inch touchscreen display, AC power socket and USB port.
The slimline economy seats are ranked in a 3-3-3 layout with a 31-32 inch pitch. Each traveller gets their own 9 inch touchscreen and USB port, with an AC power outlet located between every two seats.
Jetstar has 14 of Boeing's first generation 787-8 Dreamliners on order to replace the low-cost carrier's international Airbus A330s, which will be handed down to Qantas so that the Flying Kangaroo can replace its ageing fleet of Boeing 767s.
By 2015 Jetstar will boast an 'all 787' long-range international fleet, while from 2016 Jetstar and Qantas will have the option to buy up to 50 of the 787-8 and stretched 787-9 Dreamliners.
David Flynn will travel to Seattle and return on Jetstar's Boeing 787 delivery flight as a guest of Qantas and Boeing.
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.