Qantas is expected to fly a Dreamliner non-stop between Perth and London in the near future.
Qantas has unveiled a tantalising snapshot of what it will be offering on its flagship 787-9 Dreamliners in 12 months’ time.
And the configuration will be luxurious with just 236 passengers across business, premium economy and economy cabins in a layout that has been designed to maximise comfort for ultra-long routes such as Perth to London.
The airline is yet to decide which will be the first ultra-long 787 route but insiders say that Perth to London is the hot favourite if a deal can be struck with Perth Airport.
For operational reasons related to the transfer of interstate and intrastate passengers, the airline needs to fly the 787 from the Qantas Perth domestic facility.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told media and staff the 787 interior had been carefully designed with longer routes and changing passenger preferences in mind.
“The Dreamliner is an aircraft built for comfort. The windows are bigger, it reduces jet lag, it’s extremely quiet and there’s a system that smooths out turbulence. Customers are going to love it,” Mr Joyce said.
“We’re planning to make the most of the 787’s amazing range, so we’ve designed the cabin to give Qantas passengers a better experience on long-haul flights.
“Many of the cabin design elements reflect what our customers have told us. Personal storage rates really highly, so we’ve created extra space in economy for customers to store personal devices and their water bottles. We’re proud that our new economy seat includes features other carriers reserve for premium economy.
“We’re also redesigning the in-flight experience for the Dreamliner, from rethinking our menus to making better use of the self-service bars during different phases of flight.”
The Business Suite is the next generation of the very popular seat/suite installed on Qantas’ Airbus A330 fleet.
These suites have been modified for the 787 with the ability to adjust the divider between each seat. They have a fully flat 203cm bed with excellent cushioning and plenty of space to eat, work or just chill.
On the 787 the business suites will be in a 1-2-1 configuration, with each having direct aisle access as well as the ability to stay reclined during take-off and landing.
There is a 41cm touch screen and in-seat USB and PC charging.
The 787 will have 28 premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration and details will be unveiled early next year.
Mr Joyce said that economy passengers would also have more room — an extra inch (2.5cm) of seat pitch compared with the airline’s A380s takes the all-new seat to 32 inches (81.3cm).
In a major step forward for economy, the seats, which will be set in a 3-3-3 configuration, will have a six-inch (15.24cm) seat recline and will feature a new personal-device holder and USB ports; more storage; a seat-back mood light designed to minimise disturbance for other passengers; and a high- definition entertainment touch screen that’s 5 per cent bigger.
The seat also has an updated version of the popular Qantas “footnet”, first introduced on the A380, designed to cradle the legs during sleep.
Details of the initial Qantas Dreamliner destinations will be revealed in coming months, with the first international flights on sale before Christmas.
However, these will be regional ahead of the launch of the new ultra long-range operations.
DisclaimerGeoffrey Thomas was a guest of Qantas
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