Final assembly for first Qantas 787 about to commence

The first Qantas 787’s nose and rear fuselage is unloaded at Everett. (Boeing)

Final assembly of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for Qantas is about to begin after the aircraft’s major components arrived at Boeing’s Everett facility last week.

Qantas currently has eight 787-9s on order (11 787-8s are already in service with subsidiary Jetstar), with the first aircraft planned for delivery in mid-October.

Major components for that aircraft, comprising its nose, tail, fuselage and wings, arrived from their suppliers at Everett last week via Boeing’s 747-400LCF Dreamlifter aircraft ahead of final assembly commencing next Monday.

The final assembly process is expected to take 18 working days, with the aircraft planned to roll off the production line by the end of the month before entering the paint shop.

Typically the aircraft would then undertake two test flights with Boeing and then one or two customer acceptance flights ahead of formal handover to Qantas.

The centre fuselage is unloaded from a Dreamlifter. (Qantas)
The wings arrive at Everett. (Qantas)
Qantas 787s fast facts


  1. Christopher says

    Hopefully Qantas announces the on August 25 the next orders (the last purchase options) For at least next 15 for 10 in 2H FY19 and 9 in FY20.

  2. Paule says

    That’s incredible! 45 days from this part of the assembly to a complete fit out, test flight and delivery!

  3. David says

    Hopefully you are correct Christopher Campbell. Would like to see more 787 deliveries in 2019, and that one of those flights is to YVR, from either BNE or MEL. Air Canada seem to have this route sown up, so Qantas needs to at least get a look in

  4. stephen Boyce says

    I hope Qantas orders 25 boeing 777-8 and 25 boeing 777-9 to replace a380 and boeing 747-400ER next decade and 30 boeing 787-9 to replace airbus a330 range

  5. Fabian says

    Stephen boyce
    the A380 is far from replacement. the A380 still has at least another decade of service.

  6. Aussieskies says

    QF 787, I hope this bird is put to good use. Really wana see it grow the Australian network.
    MEL -DFW
    MEL – YVR
    MEL – ICN

    Hope the a380 comes to Brisbane for the LAX flying once the 747 retires. They’ll want the last of the 747s doing South America and Africa.

  7. Roger says

    I think that they are more likely to deploy the 787s to Santiago and Johannesburg than to introduce A380s to Brisbane.

  8. David says

    Aussieskies, I would like to add a few potential routes to your list
    ADL – SIN
    ADL – AKL
    PER – AKL
    MEL – DXB
    BNE – DXB
    MEL- DFW
    SYD – KIX
    Add in a few Chinese destinations, and Vietnam as well.

  9. says

    Now we need to ask how smart it was for Qantas/Jetstar to reduce the order for 65 firm and options that Qantas had negotiated at a never to be repeated price.
    Wouldn’t it be lovely to see Qantas to return to an All Boeing fleet and reduce types to the money making maximum of 5.
    Now that will have an impact of engineering and support inventory and pilot type training.

  10. Tom says

    I’m hoping Qantas choose the A350-900ULR instead of the B777-9. The A350 will be a lot more comfortable than any B777, and have similar technologies as the B787 to have less jet lag for passengers.

    This can give Qantas the range and capability to do the following flights:

    MEL- some European cities too

    Lots of opportunities with this plane!

  11. Charles Falkiner says

    I only hope the economy passengers are not serenaded by the flap motor screams as we were in the United Dreamliner. Absolutely deafened us on both take-off and landing. Give me the 380 any day

  12. Archie says

    I dont understand what all the hoopla about the 787 is, QANTAS’ low cost carrier has been flying them since 2013. Cramped just like all of Boeings soon to be offerings.

    The A350 is a must for the future.

  13. Gary says

    Archie – apart from your obvious dislike of everything Boeing – JQ have 336 seats in a B788 whilst QF will have 236 seats in the larger B789.

  14. Craig says

    It will be interesting to see how Qantas adjust their timetable with the withdrawal of the B744. Currently they have 10 but by 2018-19, they will have 6. Current requirements for B744 are:
    SYD – Sant – 4 times a week (1 or 2 aircraft)
    SYD- Joh – 6 times a week (2 aircraft)
    SYD _ Haneda – 7 times a week (2 aircraft)
    SYD – HKG – 7 times a week (1 aircraft)
    SYD- SFO – 6 times a week (2 aircraft)
    BNE – LAX – 6 times a week (2 aircraft)
    MEL – HKG – 4 times a week ( 1 aircraft)

    Then there is the odd QF11/12, the Vancouver flights and other flights due to demand.

  15. Joe says

    I hope they over sound proof these a little more than standard 787 spec. The 787 isn’t really that quiet for new technology. Considering Qantas flights will be some of the longest ion the world that extra quiet would make a world of difference.

  16. Roger says

    Qantas only operate four types of aircraft now, variants aside. A330, A380, B737 and B747. Swap the 747 for 787 and there are still four.

    Considering that SYD and MEL flights to LHR are “a struggle” for Qantas, I think it is unlikely that they will do more point-to-point flights. I agree with you that the A350 would be a good choice for the existing route network plus a couple of new routes. I really like the quiet on the A380, but I do not think pilots like it all that much, and clearly Boeing doesn’t like it as much as Airbus. However, you propose a lot of new routes from Perth: does Perth have the demand to make all of those flights profitable? I think it would be more sensible for them to continue their existing flights from the east coast to LAX, perhaps introducing a PER flight. They could establish a hub at LAX and have morning departures with one aircraft going on to JFK, one to ORD, one doing SLC during the snow season and MCO for the rest of the year, and one doing YYZ except for the snow season when it would do YVR. All four of the aircraft would return to LAX for evening departures back to Australia. These flights would ideally be bookable whether or not one has booked a flight continuing onto Australia.

    IS SYD-HND really on a 744? I thought they used A330s most of the year for that route.

  17. Craigy says

    @ Christopher Campbell Qantas have been operating B744 on Fri Sat Sun and Mon from memory. I tried to confirm but Qantas website won’t play the game.

    @ Roger Qantas will continue to operate the B744ER for years to come. The Syd-Joh requires the 4 engines as the ETOPS doesn’t work economically. So Qantas will operate 5 types for some time to come. And yes the B744 is operated to Haneda daily. Melb and Bne Narita are A330.

    Current requirements for A380 is 10 aircraft per day. 4x Aust – UK, 4x Aust – LAX, 2 x Syd -DFW This allows for maintenance but also replacing the B744 on the Syd-HKG route when demand requires a bigger aircraft. Replacing an A380 with B787 out of Melb suggests that this route is the least profitable of the two. Likewise, the Syd – LAX is weakest for Qantas due to the number of times an B744 is substituted for the A380. The LAX route from Sydney has the most competition, AAL, DAL, QFA, UAL and VOZ. Out of Melb it is QFA and UAL.

    @ Roger. Absolutely right. There isn’t the demand for all those routes being suggested with large aircraft. There maybe sufficient demand for say an A321LR. However, your plan to funnel traffic into LA to connect with Aust services sounds good in theory but seeing what the delays the JFK-LAX flight causes, I can imagine the delays being exacerbated

    Final comment, ZNA has commenced final assembly

  18. Archie says

    @Gary, yes I should apologise as its not Boeing’s fault airline bean counters have people’s shoulders smooshing up against each other.

    On the other hand, the A380/A350 don’t seem to have this problem. Wonderful experience, and I make sure to help people out when booking their flights to avoid 9 across ‘Dreamliners’.

  19. Roger says

    Craigy, VOZ also flies to LAX out of MEL: V23/24. And I suppose they don’t necessarily have to use LAX or JFK because of the delays. Why not SFO which is less crowded and still offers flights to LAX for the other AA services that Qantas codeshares on? Or why not even SNA? That would get the airport some recognition, but I don’t know if it can handle large aircraft. And in New York, why JFK? LGA is also an American hub, or they could even use EWR, because who would catch a connection from NYC? And I am aware that ORD is a large AA hub, but I am sure that they could still use MDW if it could support the larger aircraft that they would be using.

  20. says

    One of the interesting developments on the AirBus A359-900 and A350-1000 is that there appears to be both delivery slots and aircraft that have been developed, but are waiting for buyers. For instance there are two A350-900 MSN 52 and 55 that were built for Sri Lankan Airlines but have not been taken up. Then there is delivery slots for Qatar MSN;s 90,100, 106, 110, 114, 125 & 126 which seem to be all suspended (probably caught up in the hiatus of restriction on airspace caused by the sanctions of the Gulf countries). Then you have cancellations from American Airlines and United Airlines (after the Trump administration suggested buy American. This has meant cancelations for MSN Slots 108, 131, 139, 152, 166, 171, 184, 187 and 222. Maybe Virgin might negotiate a good deal to swop out the Boeing 777s for a number of A350s for an All Airbus International offering.