Qantas’s first 787-9 in final assembly

Qantas's first Boeing 787-9 at final assembly. (Qantas/Instagram)
Qantas’s first Boeing 787-9 at final assembly. (Qantas/Instagram)

Qantas’s first Boeing 787-9 is now under final assembly ahead of its anticipated October delivery date.

A photo posted to Qantas’s Instagram account on Friday shows the fuselage joined to the nose and tail, while the wings were in the process of being attached at Boeing’s Everett facility.

Qantas said recently final assembly would begin on August 10 and take 18 working days to complete, with the aircraft due to roll off the production line by the end of August before entering the paintshop.

The major components for that aircraft, slated to have registration VH-ZNA, such as the nose, tail, fuselage and wings, arrived from their suppliers at Everett at the end of July.

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 first four of eight Dreamliners Qantas has on firm order are scheduled to operate six times weekly Melbourne-Los Angeles nonstop flights from December and a daily Melbourne-Perth-London rotation from March 2018.


  1. Peter says

    Are they still going to be used on Domestic services first up for crew training / familiarisation as first mentioned when they were announced?

  2. says

    Peter – Qantas has advised us that the Boeing 787-9 will appear across a wide range of domestic routes in November to ensure that a maximum number of people get to see her and fly on her… especially those from ‘feeder ports’ into the PER-LHR flights (e.g. SYD, MEL, BNE and ADL)

  3. Peter Sutton says

    It is good to see my Airline Qantas using a very fuel efficient aircraft as the 787-900 as much as the A380 was supposedly going to be cheap to operate it did not seem to live up to any expectations and now world airlines are looking at getting rid of A380s in favour of twin engine aircraft , and with future flying wing concepts being developed by Boeing we have a interesting aviation future ahead

  4. Ben says

    Your airline Peter? You own it? I like the look, sleekness and efficiency of the B787 but have flown them on three different airlines now, and the 3x3x3 layout has less seat width space than the B737. Japan Airline’s B787 have a 2x4x2 configuration, a better option. I’ll prefer not to fly a B787. Eg: VA’s B777s are 3x3x3. The B777 width is larger than the B787 for example.

  5. Jamie says

    Does this mean come January 2018, our Flight from Melbourne to LA and return will be on the dreamliner instead of the A380?

  6. Craigy says

    And the repainting of the fleet continues. So far the following have been repainted in the silver roo livery:

    F100 NHP
    A333 QPH, QPI, QPJ
    DH8C SBB
    B738 VXM, VYD, VYE,

    I haven’t seen OQK of late so guessing it is in heavy maintenance and may well return in the new livery

  7. Alex says

    Second Ben’s thoughts, flown SQ on their A350 and it is miles ahead of a 787.

    Qantas should at least consider the ULR version for point to point long haul because 17+ hours in a dreamliner is frankly going to be a nightmare.

  8. Mark says

    Still not sure what all the fuss is about. I have travelled on the B787 many times and it’s still not even close to the comfort of an A380, while I have not yet flown on the A350, many reports indicate it is also better than the B787.

  9. Rich says

    Serioulsy, the way QF and the media are carrying on about these aircraft you’d think they’re brand new …… hardly !
    They commenced ops in 2011 and today there’s over 500 787’s operating with over 40 carriers, including 11 with JQ (on which I’ve flown half a dozen times) who’s been operating them since 2013. In 2017 it’s just another aeroplance folks, move on.

  10. Aussie20 says

    Glad QF’s getting back to Boeing aircraft. It had been a purchaser of them, for decades’, then they got the A380. Retrograde step.

    Don’t like Airbus, of any type, & won’t fly on them.

    Have been on B787, & really enjoyed the experience.
    Will be happy to board a QF one!

  11. Roger says

    Craigy, yes, OQK hasn’t flown in just under a month, so I would assume that it is being painted.

    Craig, when does QF95 fly? I can only see flights for QF93. Didn’t QF17 also be a flight from MEL-LAX at some stage?

    Mark, I agree that A380s are more comfortable than 787s due to the lower cabin noise and wider cabin. I think that designing 787s for long-haul was a bad move, however I can see that Boeing needed some new popular aircraft in which to implement their new oxygen-producing system and other enhancements.

    Aussie20, though I do agree that 787s do provide a nice experience, and also considering that many people seem to prefer the A380 and A350 over the 787, you should give a modern Airbus aircraft a try to see how you like them. Saying that you would never fly on one shows how you are unwilling to step outside your comfort zone–how can you say that you do not like something if you have not tried it yourself?

  12. RS says

    I do not understand the rationale for the non stop Perth to London flight. It is environmentally unsound and wasteful of fuel to lug 50 tonnes of fuel half way to London just so the 787 can fly the second half of the journey. It is less economic that it might otherwise be if the 787 is payload limited by 50% because it has to carry so much fuel. It is uncomfortable for economy passengers to sit in narrower seats than Qantas use for other aircraft for 17 hours. It is only marginally less time consuming (17.20 hrs compared with a stop over in Dubai 19.40hrs), For passengers travelling from Sydney it takes longer and costs more.. If you are an executive from Perth who can afford a more expensive seat the non stop flight may be for you, Otherwise it seems to me to be a status thing for Qantas to undertake and an extravagant use of a high tech aircraft which is designed to carry a full payload over ranges such as Perth- Dubai and not Perth-London

  13. Jack says

    Guys, I can’t see why you’re so thrilled about the Boeing 787-9. Of course its a great airliner and its new, but haven’t you been following the threads about their configuration for the aircraft? The Legroom isn’t what bothers me, It’s the width. You’d think that since Qantas is the ‘Spirit of Australia’ It would be a bit more roomy, but they’re giving us only 17 inches of width. That’s Jetstar 787 economy class. I would get onto an A350. They’re quiter, they also have a nicer interior, they’re more fuel efficient, safer and have had no incidents whatsoever even though they’re 3 years old. But most importantly, they’re more comfortable, they have the same seating configuration as the 787, but you get more width on the airplane. 18 inches is standard on most Airbus Aircraft, Also, the air inside is more humidified so you can taste the food you eat! so i’d hold your breath on the 787. Don’t get too excited. Its got a name. Thats all its good for. The A350 has less of a name to most, but its better in almost every way. If you want to see my point of view, I’d recommend doing some research.

  14. Aussie20 says

    To Roger…..

    Your criticism of my thoughts on Airbus is rather heavy-handed.

    You’ve no idea of what I’ve flown on, & it always remains MY choice which type of aircraft I’ll board.

  15. ESLowe says

    A small point, but one of interest to me. I commented to QANTAS that I enjoyed the sky camera on the A380’s tail and hoped they’d included this on their 787s. They said the’d pass that onto their engineering department. They may have just being adhering to customer relations policy, but it would be nice if they included the tail camera.

  16. Craig says

    @ Roger

    QF95/96 has been the second Melb -LA service using the B744. I think it was 4 days a week at one stage but the B789 will do the service 6 days a week.

    @ RS

    Qantas have run the numbers and think it is economic. If you have done your own payload v cost analysis, perhaps you should forward it to Qantas.

  17. Craigy says

    The first B789 is now in position 2 on the production line. Finishing the electrical connections and installing the floor.

    Re OQK. According to Flightaware it is in Manilla so maintenance and probably a new paint job

  18. Philip says

    I agree with previous negative comments re 3 3 3 seat layout.
    Having taken one flight on Jetstar 787 i will avoid future flights on any 787 with 3 3 3
    Qantas have missed a great opportunity to be superior to other 787 operators.
    I will continue to look for flights with suitable airlines that use A330 with 2 4 2 layout

  19. John Reid says

    Philip – I have yet to fly 787 but will have a LATAM 3-3-3 one next month – eagerly anticipating, though maybe I shouldn’t!

    However I understand Y (cattle) class on QF 787s will be 3-FOUR-3 on 17.5″ seats – just what you need for a long hop Perth-LHR. Fortunately I live in Canberra so will now choose to exit Oz via Sydney QF1 A380 by preference – or some other airline.

  20. Philip says

    Yes David there are airlines with 2 4 2 on A330’s
    Have just returned BKK -Syd on Qantas A330 with 2 4 2
    Both Malaysian and SQ also have 2 4 2 on their A330’s
    Cathay are currently converting to 3 3 3

  21. Markie says

    VH-OQK is in MNL and is scheduled out on 6th Sep from memory. Not sure if it’s getting a new livery though.