Australia's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner emerged from the paintshop in Seattle this weekend, all decked out in Jetstar's silver-and-orange livery ahead of a late September delivery to Qantas' low-cost offshoot.
Boeing shot off a roll of glossy official photos...
It's 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.
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.
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.
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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.