The first 787 for Jetstar has entered final assembly at Boeing’s Everett factory ahead of its planned delivery in late September.
The aircraft, to be registered VH-VKA, is due to enter service on Jetstar’s domestic network in Australia in November before transitioning to international flights from December, the airline’s director of Boeing 787 program Mark Dal Pra announced at Everett on June 3.
The domestic flights, likely to include services from Melbourne and Sydney to the Gold Coast and Cairns, will follow a period of crew training and familiarisation.
Dal Pra also confirmed that Jetstar’s 14 787-8s will be configured in a 335-seat configuration, featuring 21 Recaro recliner business class seats in a 2+3+2 configuration and 314 slimline Pinnacle economy seats at nine abreast (3+3+3) and Panasonic’s eX2 inflight entertainment system. Seat pitch in both classes will be similar to that on Jetstar’s A330s.
Jetstar will use the 14 787s to replace its existing fleet of Airbus A330-200s on long haul international services. Eleven 787s are due to be service by 2015, allowing the transfer of the A330s to parent Qantas.