Of the 93 airlines, I have ever flown, one-third of my flights have been with Australian carrier Qantas. I have flown their 747s a total of forty-two times plus 182 of their 737s, multiple 767s and 18 Boeing 717s (although this is really a McDonnell Douglas product). I never flew any Qantas 707s or 727s. [See Comment below]
I have been impatiently waiting for their red kangaroo logo to appear on the tail of a 787. In 2012, Qantas canceled 35 Dreamliners and delayed the options they had on 50 more. This week, the airline announced that their Dreamliners will start arriving from October 2017 and will be ultimately replacing their 747s. Effectively, the 787 will be the Australian flag carrier’s new flagship.
The new plane will also allow the airline to add new non-stop long distance routes such as Perth to London (9,009 mi), Melbourne to Dallas (8,992 mi) and Sydney to Chicago (9,232 mi). We have been waiting for Qantas services to Chicago for some years now.
Qantas will have one of the least cramped 787s in the skies with 236 seats split across three cabins:
- Business class: 42 suites in a 1-2-1 layout- all with full flat bed and direct aisle access
- Premium economy 28 seats: 2-3-2 -seats yet to be revealed
- Economy -166 all new seats with personal device holder, more storage areas; a seat-back mood light: 3-3-3, an okay 32″ pitch. Sadly the Dreamliner was designed for eight seats across but Qantas appears to have followed the trend and decided to cram nine in
Half of the cabin space will be devoted to the premium seats which will make up thirty percent of the total seats on the plane. The other 70% of the seats will be crammed into the other half of the cabin.
By comparison, other operators flying the 787-9 into Australia have opted for these seating layouts:
- United Airlines 252 seats (48 BusinessFirst/88 Economy Plus/116 Economy)
- Air Canada: 298 seats (30 Business /21 Premium Economy/247 Economy)
- Air New Zealand: 302 seats (18Business/21Premium Economy/263 Economy)
- LATAM 313 seats; (30 Premium Business/ 51 SPACE+/232 Economy)
- Scoot: 375 seats (35 Biz/45 ScootinSilence/295 Standard)
The set up also cements the decline of Qantas First class. Their 380s still have this cabin but one wonders for how long?
Tickets will start being sold from December this year for routes which Qantas is yet to announce. I cannot wait to hop on board. I wonder when and where, I will get my first Qantas 787 experience?
In the meantime, my next 787 will be with Jetstar in December.