Qantas’s third 787-9 lands in Australia

Qantas Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNC arriving at Melbourne Airport after its ferry flight. (Victor Pody)
Qantas Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNC arriving at Melbourne Airport after its ferry flight. (Victor Pody)

Qantas’s third Boeing 787-9 has arrived in Australia, touching down in Melbourne on Wednesday after its delivery flight from Boeing’s Everett facility just outside Seattle.

The aircraft, VH-ZNC, took off from Paine Field as QF6026 just after 1230 local time on Tuesday and landed at Tullamarine just before midnight on Wednesday following its 16-hour journey across the Pacific, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

Qantas has given its third Boeing 787-9 a distinctly West Australian flavour naming VH-ZNC Quokka, a native animal most commonly found on Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth.

Quokka, registration VH-ZNC, joins Great Southern Land (VH-ZNA) and Waltzing Matilda (VH-ZNB) in the Qantas 787-9 fleet.

Quokka was among the list of names for the oneworld alliance member’s first batch of eight 787-9s that was released in June 2017.

The full list is Boomerang, Dreamtime, Great Barrier Reef, Great Southern Land, Quokka, Skippy, Uluru and Waltzing Matilda.

Meanwhile, Qantas said recently the fourth 787-9, VH-ZND would celebrate Australia’s indigenous peoples with a yet-to-be-revealed special livery.

The aircraft is due to arrive in early March, with a special arrival event for VH-ZND to be held in Alice Springs.

Qantas’s 787-9s started their first long-haul route – Melbourne-Los Angeles – just before Christmas. Nonstop flights between Perth and London Heathrow start on March 24.

The four Dreamliners will initially operate a Los Angeles-Melbourne-Perth-London Heathrow rotation, allowing Qantas to offer regular scheduled passenger nonstop flights between Australia and Europe for the first time.

From September 1, the 787-9s are also being deployed a new Melbourne-San Francisco route.

Qantas’s first 787-9 arrived in Sydney on October 20 2017

Its second, VH-ZNB, was ferried to Melbourne in mid-December.

Qantas Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNB. (Victor Body)
Qantas Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNB. (Victor Body)

Qantas has eight 787-9s on firm order. The first four will be based in Melbourne, while the next four will be based in Brisbane.


  1. Lechuga says

    Beautiful, it’s great to see new additions to the fleet.

    Does anyone know when the 4 Brisbane based 787s will roughly be delivered?

  2. Craigy says

    According to the Qantas website, B789 aircraft will replace some A380 QF93/94 flights starting 10 Feb. Does anyone know why? Bigger aircraft needed for the Australia – Hong Kong flights for Chinese New Year?

  3. Craigy says

    @ Lechuga

    According to Boeing the planned delivery dates are 27 Jun, 24 Aug, 13 Nov and 26 Nov 2018

  4. Lechuga says

    @Craigy cheers mate, I’d expect those first 2 will be the LAX route leaving the last 2 for the new route, which intrigues me.

  5. David says

    Good to see. Now we need to wait for ZND to arrive. Looking forward to seeing this one also. Hopefully before years end we will hear that ZNI to say ZNL will be ordered. This is required to further replace high fuel burning 747’s.

  6. Craigy says

    @ Lechuga. No probs mate. I checked the Qantas timetable for services to LA from Brisbane from Aug onwards. They are still advertising the aircraft type as B744. I suspect we will hear the commencement date and new route when they announce the half yearly results. And then expect an announcement for a follow on order in August 2018 when the full year results are announced.

  7. Lechuga says

    I think the next order will primarily be based in Sydney. Replacing 747s to SCL and YVR. I don’t think the ETOPS is right for the JNB route yet and if that gets changed I can see MEL-JNB up next.

    787-10s would have to be on the cards soon to replace 747 flights to HKG and HND other wise there’ll be less capacity from SYD than MEL and BNE and they’re fairly high demand routes. Although would prefer the A350 family for a these routes.

  8. chris kleeman says

    Will Qantas now support adelaide for direct flights overseas or do we still use foreign airlines for this..

  9. Patrickk says

    Lechuga the last six 747s are about the same age as the A333s so the 787-10 will happen around then and maybe replace them in one go in 2022-2025 time range but probably after the smaller 777-8s or A359LR order. There will be crowded capital replacement call at that time.

  10. David says

    Following on from the first eight, it will be good to see 787’s replace some aging 747’s on the Asian routes. It would also be good to see ADL — SIN added, as poor Adelaide doesn’t have any International representation from Qantas. It would also be good to see YVR Services year round. Air Canada can fly to three Australian cities. We should at least offer YVR.

  11. Ian says

    While its great to see the Sydney airline giving MEL some priority with the first four 787s, they still ignore ADL and CBR as international gateways. QF just don’t get it. Hardly befitting the “national flag carrier !!!!”

  12. Veejette says

    To Ian, above…..

    Firstly, QF is NOT a ‘Sydney airline’! It was founded in Qld!

    Secondly, no airline is going to schedule flights out of/into a city that has non-profitable returns. It simply cannot afford to do so.

    QF would’ve done their ‘mathematical homework’, & found the populace of those cities’ don’t have the ‘flying’ numbers.

  13. AlanH says

    ” … and landed at Tullamarine just before midnight on Wednesday …”. Makes it awfully difficult if you’re an avid plane spotter. I guess therein lies the point, you just have to be “avid” sometimes (or stupid!). 🙂

  14. James says

    @ Veejette

    Pretty sure Ian was referring to the fact that they are now based in Sydney.

    @ Ian.

    Veejette is basically correct. They won’t just run aircraft out of your city of choice to suit your opinions or fantasies. If the numbers don’t add up, it won’t happen. I’m curious…

    If QF ran a 787 3 x a week to AKL, and Air NZ did the same but with consistently cheaper fares, would you still fly QF if you were a frequency traveller to AKL?

    Also, what if Air NZ were operating that aircraft on a further route over the pacific after the ADL sector, thereby making bettet use of the aircraft and offsetting any potential loss on that run?

    It’s just an example, but what you guys don’t get is that it’s difficult for QF to do route pairings like that efficiently. It has been tried (QF used to run a 737-800 direct ADL-AKL a few years ago) but obviously for them, it doesn’t work.

    If airlines did everything their passengers suggested they would go out of business in a month.