The long-delayed Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be offer such improved operational performance that it will be “worth the wait”, according to Qantas’ Group CEO, Alan Joyce.
The Australian airline’s head was speaking as the Australia-made components for Jetstar’s first B787 were shipped to the US, where they will be used in the final assembly of the first Aussie Dreamliner.
“The Qantas group fleet is now the youngest it has been in 20 years and the addition of these ultra-fuel-efficient 787s will help us deliver an even better standard of travel,” said Joyce. “What Boeing has achieved with the design of this aircraft, in terms of comfort and economics, is absolutely game-changing for both passengers and airlines. There’s no doubt that it will be worth the wait.”
Jetstar’s first Dreamliner is due to arrive in Australia at the end of September 2013 with a further two aircraft joining the fleet by the end of the year. And the low-cost carrier’s CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka, agreed that the new aircraft would give a major boost to Jetstar.
“Our customers are going to love it,” Ms Hrdlicka said. “The Dreamliners will operate to destinations like Honolulu, Phuket and Tokyo which are currently serviced by our A330 aircraft, and will deliver a quieter cabin, better air quality and larger windows.
“Melbourne is the home of Jetstar, and the 787 will be a very important part of our future, so there’s a great symmetry that parts of these aircraft are made locally,” she added.
In total, Qantas has a total of 14 firm orders for the Dreamliners, all of which will be delivered to Jetstar. It also has options and purchase rights for a further 50 B787-8 and B787-9 jets, which will be available from 2016. Jetstar will be the first Australian airline and the first low-cost carrier in the Asia Pacific region to operate the Dreamliner.
The Dreamliner programme was delayed for several years due to a series of setbacks, including design issues and worker strikes. Deliveries eventually commenced in September 2011 but were halted in January this year due to a problem with the aircraft’s batteries. Despite this, Boeing has ramped up production and is planning to deliver at least 60 B787s this year.