The aircraft was presented to Qantas and Boeing staff and media during a ceremony at the Future of Flight Aviation Center adjacent to Boeing’s Everett facility to the strains of Australian musician Iva Davies’ iconic song Great Southern Land.
“There’s a saying in aviation that when you change your aircraft you change your business,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce told the event.
“Change of aircraft has allowed us to fly faster, further, more comfortably and more efficiently,” he said.
“So today here in Seattle it is the next big milestone in our history, taking delivery of the Boeing 787.”
Great Southern Land, registered VH-ZNA, is the first of eight 787-9s Qantas has on order, and is configured to carry 236 people, with 42 seats in business class in a 1-2-1 configuration offering direct aisle access for every passenger, 28 in premium economy laid out 2-3-2 across and 166 in economy in a 3-3-3 layout with 32in seat pitch and 17.2in seat width.
The aircraft is due to depart Everett on its delivery flight to Australia on Tuesday morning (US) time. After overnighting in Honolulu, VH-ZNA will land in Sydney around 7am on Friday.
Alan Joyce and Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans discussed more details about the airline’s plans for its 787 fleet during a media briefing with media at Everett on Monday.