Jetstar will begin flying Australia’s first Boeing 787 on Wednesday November 13th between Melbourne and the Gold Coast, with a Melbourne-Cairns service to follow.
Tickets for the Dreamliner’s domestic debut on both routes will “soon be on sale”, the airline says, and suggests that prospective travellers keen to try the next-gen jetliner should sign up for email alerts at the Jetstar Dreamliner website.
Jetstar has not yet advised which of the six daily flights between Melbourne and the Gold Coast will feature the Boeing 787.
Australian Business Traveller understands that Jetstar will sell the 787's business class seats as the highest 'all-inclusive' fare bundle on the flights, which will be identified by a special icon on Jetstar's online schedule.
But with only 21 business class seats, travellers will want to act fast and click faster to ensure their place at the pointy end.
However, planespotters will have their first chance to see Jetstar's Boeing 787 this month as the airline sends its Dreamliner on a series of proving flights to Jetstar's domestic ports, which will lead up to 'open days' held for Jetstar staff in each city.
The local flights will run through to mid-December, when Jetstar will begin flying its Boeing 787 on an international route that’s yet to be named.
Two more Dreamliners will join the fleet this year but won’t enter commercial service until early 2014.
By 2015 Jetstar will be flying 14 of the advanced aircraft to destinations currently served by Airbus A330s including Bali, Hawaii, Japan, Phuket and Singapore.
The advanced aircraft boast higher fuel efficiency and a reduced noise footprint compared to conventional aircraft, along with a bevy of passenger-friendly features including a larger and more spacious cabin with more room for carry-on luggage, a quieter smoother ride plus lower cabin pressure and increased humidity to reduce the effects of jetlag.
Inside Jetstar's Boeing 787
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.
The business class seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration with a 38 inch pitch, and 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, with inflight entertainment available to purchase before you fly or on board; there's also a USB port for each seat and 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 2017 Jetstar and Qantas will have the option to buy up to 50 of the 787-8 and stretched 787-9 Dreamliners.
David Flynn is visiting Seattle as a guest of Qantas and Boeing, and will be on Jetstar's Boeing 787 delivery flight from Seattle to Melbourne.