Japan Airlines has announced it will become the first international carrier to introduce the 787 to Sydney when it begins services from Tokyo with the new aircraft on December 1. The 787s will replace larger capacity 777s on the daily JL771/772 service in a move that will likely put it head-to-head with Jetstar’s 787s.
While Jetstar is yet to confirm when its 787s – originally scheduled for delivery in August – will begin operations, the new twinjet will gradually replace A330s on services to Japan, Singapore and Hawaii.
Qatar Airways, which had set a first quarter start-up date for 787 services to Perth, is still likely to be the first airline to operate the type to Australia, though it, too, is yet to confirm a schedule. It is believed the airline will introduce the 787 on the Doha-London route in mid-May.
China Southern is also expected to fly the aircraft to Australia once the type is certified by Chinese regulatory authorities, which is expected in late May.
Sydney Airport has welcomed the 787 service, saying the aircraft’s improved economics will help open up more services between Sydney and important markets in Asia.
“The great news for travellers is that the economics of aircraft like the Boeing 787 will enhance Sydney’s connectivity by opening up new non-stop routes, particularly in our target markets in south-east Asia, India and China,” Sydney Airport CEO Kerrie Mather said.
“A number of our major carriers have the 787 on order and we are expecting significant numbers of Dreamliners to operate here over the next 12-18 months,” she added.