August 20, 2015 – Qantas is the latest airline to join the Dreamliner club, with eight B787-9s due to join its international fleet, beginning in 2017. The B787s will gradually replace five of its older B747s on international routes and open up a range of potential new city pairs. According to CEO Alan Joyce, because the B787s are smaller than the jumbos they will gradually replace, that will give the airline “the flexibility of having more aircraft without significantly changing our overall capacity.”
The passenger experience promises to be as positive as the airline’s balance sheet this year (earnings of AUD$267m – AUD$764m more than FY2014). Qantas will work with its team of internal experts and external designers, including Australian design superstar Marc Newson, to develop cabin interiors for the Dreamliner, which it says will be “world leading”.
Four B787-9s will arrive in financial year 2018 and four will arrive in financial year 2019. This will leave the Qantas Group with its six youngest reconfigured B747s. Qantas will retain 15 further options and 30 purchase rights for additional B787s, with “significant flexibility” over the timing of delivery, should they be exercised.
Joyce is excited about the fleet refresh, and stated, “This milestone acquisition marks the scale of our turnaround and looks ahead to a new era for our iconic international airline. We’re halfway through the biggest and fastest transformation in our history. Qantas is rapidly growing fitter, stronger, and smarter. These aircraft are a fitting emblem of that evolution – they show that we are revitalized and here for the long haul.”
We will of course be featuring the interiors in Aircraft Interiors International magazine, and giving updates as the project progresses.