Passengers flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles will be the first to experience the Qantas 787-9 Dreamliner when the inaugural international service takes-off on 15 December next year.
The Qantas Dreamliner will carry 236 passengers in a three-class configuration and complement the daily Airbus A380 service already flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles. Operating six times per week, the Dreamliner will replace the 747 service that currently operates on this route alongside the A380.
Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans said the arrival of the Dreamliner would be a step change for the airline and for customers, both in terms of operational efficiency and passenger comfort.
“The Dreamliner is a game-changing aircraft that opens up a new era for Qantas, and it’s been designed with passenger comfort in mind,” said Mr Evans.
“The aircraft itself offers passengers larger windows, a smoother ride and better air quality to reduce jetlag.
“In Economy there’s more room and plenty of storage. In Business, our suites will offer a fully flat bed and direct aisle access. We’ll be unveiling our Premium Economy in the first quarter of next year and it will set new standards for the industry.”
Mr Evans made the announcement while visiting the Boeing Aerostructures Australia facility at Port Melbourne with Victorian Tourism Minister John Eren. The factory manufactures parts of the 787 wing, which are then shipped to the United States for the aircraft assembly.
“We’ll be working with Visit Victoria on joint marketing campaigns to highlight what Victoria and the Qantas Dreamliner have to offer,” said Mr Evans.
Today’s announcement follows Qantas confirming it will fly non-stop from Perth to London from March 2018.
Travellers on the East Coast are expected to also use the service, cutting up to an hour off their total travel time.
The 787-9 Melbourne-Los Angeles service will operate six days a week. This takes the total number of Qantas services on the route from nine to 13 return flights per week and will give customers the convenience of a morning or afternoon departure from Melbourne on most days. As it replaces a larger, 364-seat 747 that operates twice a week, the net capacity increase is approximately 1400 seats in total.
Fares will be on sale from Christmas Day 2016.