Say “G’day” to Great Southern Land, the first of Qantas’s new fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Following its unveiling at the Boeing factory near Seattle, the aircraft will touch down in Sydney before being put to work on the Melbourne-to-Los Angeles direct route. When the second is delivered, the much-vaunted 17-hour non-stop flights from Perth to London will commence in March 2018. Qantas expects to have a total of eight new Dreamliners in its fleet by the end of next year. Here’s how they will change flying – for good.
Less jet lag
Qantas has partnered with medical experts at the Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre to devise a flying experience that mitigates jet lag. The Dreamliners’ cabins are set at a lower altitude, so the human body reacts similarly to being on the ground; cabin lighting is designed to help the body clock adjust more quickly; the cabin air is more filtered; and even meal service times have been adjusted so that customers can be assured of a good rest in-between.
Ambient lighting in Business. Image supplied.
A smoother ride
Expect toned-down turbulence on the Dreamliner. The new aircraft is fitted with technology that senses turbulence and counteracts it by adjusting wing control surfaces.
Fewer greenhouse emissions
The 787-9 Dreamliner is significantly lighter than other aircraft in its class – 20 per cent lighter, in fact – which means it can fly further on less fuel. In addition, the new Dreamliner is equipped with industrial designer David Caon’s range of Noritake crockery, cutlery and glassware that’s 11 per cent lighter than the previous tableware. This alone means Qantas will consume 535,000 kilograms less fuel each year once it’s rolled out to the rest of the fleet.
David Caon-designed Noritake tableware. Image supplied.
A new way to shade
Instead of pulling down plastic window shades, use the electronic control to vary the light to one of the five polarised settings.
… And everyone gets a window seat
The windows are 65 per cent larger than those on comparable aircraft, meaning those flying in the middle seats can still take in the view.
Shorter long-haul flight times
The 787-9 Dreamliner’s raison d’être is to pose a real challenge to the tyranny of distance. Great Southern Land will begin flying between Melbourne and Los Angeles non-stop in December and between Perth and London in March 2018.
Great Southern Land is the first of the new Qantas Dreamliners to be delivered. Image supplied.
Business Class akin to First
The new Dreamliner doesn’t have First class – there’s really no need when the Business Suites are so well equipped; the flat beds are 80-inches long (that’s just over two metres) and 25-inches wide. The best bit? They can be in the recline position from take-off right through to landing. There’s also a new privacy screen; a 16-inch HD entertainment touch screen and personal charging points for devices.
Recline from take-off to touching down in Dreamliner Business Class seats. Image supplied.
Premium Economy like you’ve never seen before
The Dreamliner has Qantas’s most luxurious Premium Economy cabin yet. The 28 seats are arranged in a two-three-two configuration to allow maximum access to the aisle for customers, and the seats are 10 per cent wider than existing Premium Economy seats.
The seats have a 38-inch pitch and are designed to “cradle” the customer, sending the entire seat backwards instead of merely reclining the backrest. The innovative recline function means the intrusion of the seat in front is kept to a minimum. Oh, and screens are 25 per cent larger, there are five storage areas for personal belongings and even adjustable mood lighting.
Premium Economy seats are arranged in a two-three-two configuration. Image supplied.
New levels of comfort in Economy
With an extra inch (2.54cm) of seat pitch compared to those in the A380 and a foot net to cradle the legs while you sleep, things are looking good for Dreamliner Economy travellers. There’s also mood lighting, extra storage for personal items, personal USB charge points and a 12-inch HD touch screen.
The new Economy cabin. Image supplied.
Fewer fellow travellers
The 236-seat capacity of the plane comprises 42 Business, 28 Premium Economy and 166 Economy, compared with the Qantas A380s, which carry 484 customers.
Eating and drinking when you want
Two new self-service bars – one located in the Business cabin and another in Economy – meaning you can wander over for a drink and a snack, or a chat, any time during the flight, as long as the seat belt sign isn’t on.