Qantas celebrated its 91st birthday today by announcing that it will take delivery of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, which will fly under the Jetstar flag in 2013.
Boeing 787 chief project engineer Mike Sinnett, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce and Jetstar Group CEO Bruce Buchanan
"The 787 is an amazing advancement of passenger comfort — more room for passengers, bigger windows with more light — and we think it's going to be an amazing product for the future of our domestic operations," said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
According to Joyce, the Dreamliner is a "game changer", and he believes that it will keep Qantas ahead of its competition.
"It gives ... fuel efficiency 20 per cent better than existing technology. It's an aircraft that will go into Jetstar and [later] into Qantas, an aircraft that we believe will open up routes that we cannot service today," said Joyce.
The Dreamliner will be delivered to Jetstar in 2013, and then in the following year for Qantas.
According to Jetstar Group's CEO Bruce Buchanan, Qantas will be the first Australian airline to take delivery of the aircraft.
"We're very pleased to be the first low-cost carrier to be introducing the 787 Dreamliner, and the first airline in Australia to fly [it]," said Buchanan.
Inside the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The prototype shown to the media was a test aircraft, and was outfitted with test equipment.
According to Boeing 787 chief project engineer Mike Sinnett, in comparison to other similar-bodied aircraft, the Dreamliner is lighter (made of carbon fibre), more efficient (burning 20 per cent less fuel), greener (producing 20 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions) and faster (able to travel to Mach 0.85).
Boeing has said that the Dreamliner will cut fuel expenses, and will fly passengers on a plane that is designed to last 30 years or more while ushering in the age of composite fuselages.
There is no word yet as to whether Jetstar will fit the Dreamliner with Apple's iPad or Boeing's chosen in-flight entertainment using Google's Android.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The first airline to take delivery of the Dreamliner globally was ANA in late September, and that was after a three-year delay due to production issues. Qantas has ordered 50 Dreamliners, which will be delivered in early 2013. The 787 Dreamliner comes with a set price tag of US$194 million, and Joyce said he hoped that Boeing would give Qantas a discount.
Also on display at Qantas' birthday celebration was a Boeing 737, and John Travolta's B707 (which media representatives were not permitted to board).
Qantas' newly reconfigured Boeing 737 now has the Sky Interior installed, which is an LED mood-lighting system, as well as Panasonic's in-flight entertainment, larger windows and overhead lockers and increased headroom.
The Dreamliner road show will head off to Melbourne tomorrow.
For more photos and details of the Dreamliner, click here.