Jetstar’s first 787 has touched down in Melbourne this afternoon at the end of its delivery flight from Boeing’s Everett factory.
The 787-8, registered VH-VKA and operating as flight JQ7878, touched down at Melbourne Airport at 1:13pm, ending an eight year gestation for the Qantas Group, which had first ordered the 787 in 2008.
Onboard the aircraft was a small contingent of Jetstar and Qantas personnel, including Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce and Jetstar CEO Jayne Hyrdlicka, as well media.
They were met at Melbourne Airport by Victorian Premier Dennis Napthine, Victorian Aviation Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips, federal industry minister Ian Macfarlane and representatives from Boeing and engine-manufacturer General Electric.
Remarked Alan Joyce: “Today is historic for the Qantas Group and Jetstar. We have taken delivery of the world’s most advanced passenger aircraft.
Hrdlicka used the aircraft’s arrival to confirm Jetstar’s first 787 international services.
“I am delighted to announce that our first scheduled international services will depart Melbourne to one of our most popular destinations – Bali, with the 787 operating a daily service over the summer period,” Hrdlicka said.
“Tickets are now on sale for our first 787 flight to Bali on Wednesday 18 December. We expect to add more destinations, including Phuket, Japan, Hawaii and Singapore, to the 787’s flying schedule as we receive more aircraft.”
Hrdlicka had earlier announced at the aircraft’s handover at Everett that the 787 would be deployed on domestic Melbourne-Gold Coast flights while crews build experience on the type.
Jetstar says that “subject to the certification of the newest standard of even more fuel efficient engines”, it expects to have three 787s operating early next year and an all 787 long haul fleet by the end of 2015. The airline’s 787 configuration seats 335 passengers and feature a 21 seat business class cabin and 314 seats in economy. There is inflight entertainment available for purchase in every seat.