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Australia’s first Boeing 787-10 flight touches down in Perth

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 8, 2018
Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 9V-SCA at Perth Airport. (Keith Anderson)
Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 787-10 9V-SCA touches down at Perth Airport. (Keith Anderson)

Perth has welcomed the first scheduled Boeing 787-10 passenger service to Australia, with the arrival of Singapore Airlines flight SQ223 on Monday afternoon.
Operated by 787-10 9V-SCA, SQ223 touched down at Perth a little after 1430 local time, at the end of its five-hour journey from Singapore.
The aircraft was on the ground for about two and a half hours before taking off as SQ214 back to Singapore.
Passengers booked on SQ214 were greeted at check-in with a West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) string quartet, while there was a some complimentary food for all passengers at the gate lounge.

Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 9V-SCA at Perth Airport. (Keith Anderson)
Singapore Airlines will fly the 787-10 on one of its four daily flights between Perth and Singapore. (Keith Anderson)
Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 9V-SCA at Perth Airport. (Keith Anderson)
SIA’s 787-10s have 36 business class seats and 301 economy class seats. (Keith Anderson)

SIA regional vice president for South West Pacific Philip Goh said having Perth one of the first two destinations for SIA’s 787-10 was a testament to the airline’s longstanding connection to the city.
“Perth was the very first destination we operated to in Australia more than 50 years ago,” Goh said.
“Today we mark another fantastic milestone with the arrival of the 787-10 further emphasising our commitment to this wonderful city.”
Following the inaugural service, the 787-10 will be deployed on the SQ215/SQ216 rotation, which is an evening departure from Singapore arriving just before midnight, and an overnight service from Perth landing back in the city-state a little after 0630.
The airline flies four times a day between Perth and Singapore. The other three daily flights are operated by Boeing 777-200 and Airbus A330-300 equipment.
SIA plans to use the 787-10, which is configured with 36 business class seats and 301 economy class seats, on medium-haul routes of up to eight hours. The airline expected to have eight 787-10s in the fleet by March 2019. The type is replacing Airbus A330-300s and Boeing 777-200s.
Perth Airport chief executive Kevin Brown noted Singapore was Western Australia’s third largest international visitor market and the use of the larger 787-10 compared with the 777-200 and A330-300 represented an extra 38,000 seats on the route.
“It’s going to boost Perth’s profile in our region and build even more momentum for WA to be the destination of choice for tourists from Asia – a potential market of more than four billion people,” Brown said.
Osaka Kansai was SIA’s first destination for the 787-10. The aircraft is also used on some flights to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur to build up hours on the type for pilots and cabin crew.
And passengers in business class on its 787-10 will experience a new-design seat that offers direct aisle access for each passenger and converts to a 76in lie-flat bed. This represented a significant upgrade from the angled lie-flat business class seats in a 2-2-2 layout without direct aisle access on the A330-300 and 777-200.
The new business class seats, manufactured by Stelia Aerospace and customised by the airline’s product development team, were officially unveiled to the world in late March, when the delivery flight of the first SIA 787-10 landed at Changi Airport.
SIA has said previously it was investing US$350 million in the new 787-10 cabin products.
That investment also extends to the economy class cabin, which features 301 seats arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration designed and built by Recaro and are similar to those on the airline’s reconfigured A380s that were first unveiled in October 2017.
And the 787-10 will also feature inflight internet wi-fi supplied by Panasonic’s Global Communication Services.

Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 9V-SCA at Perth Airport. (Brenden Scott)
Singapore Airlines has 49 787-10s on order (Brenden Scott)
Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 9V-SCA at Perth Airport. (Brenden Scott)
The 787-10 is the largest variant of Boeing’s 787 program. (Brenden Scott)

SIA has 49 787-10s on order with Boeing, the largest order of the type from any airline. Following first delivery, the Singapore Airlines group now has all three Dreamliner variants in its operations, given its low-cost carrier Scoot’s fleet comprises both the 787-8 and 787-9.
The 787-10 is the largest variant of Boeing’s 787 program and is capable of flying 6,430nm when configured with 330 passengers in a two-class layout, according to Boeing figures.
At 68.2m, the 787-10 is a 5.5m stretch on the 787-9 that began flying in August 2014. The first 787 variant, the -8, made its commercial debut in October 2011 with launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA).
The 787-10 received its amended type certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in late January, following a flight test program that kicked off in March 2017 and accumulated 900 test hours.
Apart from SIA, airlines that fly to Australia and have ordered the 787-10 included ANA, British Airways, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, EVA Air and United.

VIDEO: The landing of 9V-SCA was captured in a video from sivideo aviation and published on its YouTube channel.
The May 2018 edition of Australian Aviation profiles Singapore Airlines introduction into service of the 787-10. It is on sale at newsstands now, and is available for digital download via Zinio, Issuu and the Apple app store.

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16 Comments

  • Riplander

    says:

    Gorgeous aircraft! Well done SQ!

  • Scott

    says:

    Wow SIA uses a -10 for 337 pax, JQ a -8 for basically the same load (335) to Asia.
    That speaks volumes, however Y still 3-3-3 super tight, but ok I guess for 7-9hr flights not 15-18hr ULH.

  • Paul

    says:

    .& the best Qantas can do for West Aussies is a daily flight PER-SIN on a…..(wait for it….drum-roll)…… 737 !!

  • Bill

    says:

    Paul, instead of complaining, like you and so many others do, why not vote with your feet and fly Qantas to Singapore? If there was enough demand, I’m sure Qantas would upgauge from the 737 to an A330.

  • Craigy

    says:

    Well maybe Paul if there was higher demand QF would use a bigger aircraft.

  • freedom flyer

    says:

    With reference to QF 737, SQ are able to use larger aircraft as they have a hub at Singapore where they can transfer pax to other SQ flights within Asia, to the Middle East and Europe. That is where their pax loads come into play. Up to three quarters of their pax are connecting to other flights, they are not terminating at Singapore. Qantas only fly pax to SIN with the exception of the LHR connection. Qantas do not have a hub in Singapore, and a fleet of aeroplanes that can take you beyond like SQ can. . If SQ were only carrying pax to Singapore like QF, it too would have a similar schedule and most likely smaller aircraft. As an ex SQ employee I understand the metrics and the breakup of the loadings.

  • Samual

    says:

    With the last 747s leaving service and Qantas’s dissatisfaction with the Airbus 380 I guess we are seeing the beginning of the end of the big jet era.

  • Jack

    says:

    Pail ignoring of course the fact that Singapore is SQ’s hub and for Qantas it’s a point to point route except of course the connection to London which is served direct by Qantas out of Perth.

  • Lechuga

    says:

    It’s amazing that the -10 carries the 2nd most passengers of any aircraft SQ has…
    Even the 777-300ER carries less.
    And yet the -10 only carries 2 more than the Scoot -8.
    Freaky.

  • Darren

    says:

    Amazing and beautiful airplane!

    Qantas! PERFECT REPLACEMENT for the A330 and maybe the 747!

  • Darren

    says:

    The 787-10 would be the perfect replacement for the QANTAS 747 if it had the range

  • Kel

    says:

    Qantas appears to have adopted the B787 as its plane of the future by ordering the six B787-9s. When these planes are delivered, Qantas will have approximately 30 options and purchase rights to be delivered at around 4 to 5 aircraft per year.
    Over half of these options and purchase rights should be changed to the B787-10s with the first delivery in 2021. However, more 787-9s will be required for flights beyond the B787-10 range.
    There are no planes ordered to operate the 3 SYD-YVR and the extra SYD-SCL Xmas / New Year Holiday Period services. For the 2020-21 Holiday Period, a B747 could loiter to end of January 2021 to provide these services. Another 787-9 is required for 2021-22 Holiday Period. Possibly, this plane could operate year round SYD – YVR.
    ADL-LAX seems to be crying out for a service. At three times a week, there would be 700 seats. It would rob ADL passengers who would normally travel through SYD, MEL and BNE utilising Qantas flights from these Cities to LAX. These seats could be sold to other passengers as part of annual growth. If priced competitively, it would rob ADL passengers who would normally travel to LAX on rival airlines via the airline’s offshore hub. It would attract new custom who had not previously considered flying to LAX. However, Qantas should prosper overall.
    It could be the fifth B787-9 Brisbane plane operating three day a week BNE-LAX-JKF-ADL-LAX-BNE. Once a week it would have a day layover in LAX. This possibly could replace the one day a week layover of the MEL based B787-9s. This possibly could allow a seventh flight a week on MEL to LAX/SFO. It hard to see why the option that expired February was not utilised to provided these services. It should be need in the future.
    Alan Joyce spoken about new services to Europe. This would require further B787-9s.
    However, if a B787-10 operated SYD-HND, it would release a B787-9 to operate other services.
    Domestic Travel is picking up. Even though Alan Joyce has stated the A330-200 is actually to heavy to operate efficiently on Domestic services, until lighter aircraft are ordered, you would expect that some A330-200s operating Internationally will have to be transferred back to Domestic services.
    The B787-10s could replace these A330s on International services.
    Furthermore, approximately twenty years old appears to be Qantas standard to generally replace aircraft.
    A330s reach 20 years as follows, two A330-200s in 2022, two A330-200s in 2023, three A330-300s in 2023, four A330-300s in 2024 and three A330-300 in 2025. These planes will have to be progressively replaced by B787-10s.
    It has been suggested that premium high configuration of B787-9s is too much for Asian services. With the
    longer front cabin of B787-10, another six Business seats and two toilets should fit, similar to the seating arrangements on the Singapore’s B787-10s. The space inefficient three rows of Business seated aft of Door 2 doors on the B787-9s could be eliminated. This arrangement would give 36 Business seats which is greater than the 28 Business seats on the A330s.
    While there is no Premium Economy on A330s, given the popularity of Premium Economy, three or four row of these seats, 21 or 28 seats should be included.
    This would give a B787-10 a passenger capacity about 10% greater than a A330-300 that is about 10% greater than a A330-200. Initially, B787-10s could replace A330-300s which in turn could release A330-300s to release A330-200s back to Domestics services and to retire the four oldest planes.
    From 2021, B787s acquired will have to be a mixture of 9 and 10 models plus any aircrafts Jetstar requires.

  • Brendan

    says:

    787, 737, same width seats in economy.
    Feel the squeeze

  • Craigy

    says:

    @ Kel A good analysis as usual. I don’t know what sources you have but I have a different take purely based on public comments by QF management. Alan Joyce has said after the initial B789 order that he can see the B789 in the QF fleet in teen numbers. So I am guessing for QF there will be a max of 20. Any additional will go to Jetstar for expansion. I think the unknown really is the winner of Project Sunrise and how a mixture of configurable ULH and normal long haul will meet the expansion needs envisaged by Project Sunrise and the replacement of the A333 with opportunities to expand as needed.
    The replacement for the A332 I think will come from a mixture of the NMA and domestic short haul replacement.. With no proof I think the short haul replacement will be the A32X series with the addition of A321LR to boost QF point to point offerings in Asia and the Pacific.
    I think the winner of Project Sunrise will also replace the A380 with the larger offering. Given the oldest A380 is only 10 years old suggests that 2027+ is the earliest given the demands on Capex

  • Kel

    says:

    Craigy
    I am using the same source. However, Alan Joyce’s comments have a tease component and would require additional aircrafts to be purchased to satisfy the comment.
    The number of B787-9s required in my comment matches your comment.
    Jetstar’s HNL services are down to two SYD-HNL per week with the daily schedule being met by QANTAS operating five A330s flights per week.
    It has been announced some of 18 A321ERs Jetstar is acquiring will replace B787 on some Asian flights which will allow these B787s to be redeployed elsewhere. Jetstar does not appear in any hurry to purchase any more B787s.
    The QANTAS Group is purchasing 54 A320neos and 45 A321neos. Speculation is that these aircraft are for Jetstar. Jetstar Japan aircraft are all less than 5 years old. Jetstar Pacific appears to purchase it aircraft separate to Qantas.
    Jetstar Aust&NZ has 8 A321s and 52 A320s and Jetstar Asia has 18 A320s. The fleet average age is around 9 years so you would expect that the newer aircraft would not be scheduled to be replaced by this order. Expansion by Jetstar Aust&NZ and Jetstar Asia has almost been non existent lately, so it would have to change significantly to utilise the extra aircraft.
    It has always looked as part of the order is to replace Qantas B737’s especially given the high A321 component. The Jetstar commitment for 18 A321ERs accounts for some. The A321 would give Qantas wider seats in both business and economy than Virgin’s 737MAXs. A 321ER with 12 Business lie flat seats/beds arranged 2,1,2,1 down the aircraft, probably would result with about the same passenger capacity as a Qantas B737-800. While replacing B737s, they could not replace A330-200s.
    NMA may be the long term replacement for the A330-200s but planned service entry is 2023. Given the problems with new designs at the start, you would want some maturity where the bugs are removed, before purchasing aircraft.
    The NMA is too small to replace A330-300s. Either the B787-10 or if the A350ULR is selected for Project Sunrise, the A350-900 is required.
    The decision on whether the B777-8X or the A350ULR will be selected for Project Sunrise is probably 2021 at the earliest. The decision to purchase B777-8 or 9 or A350-900 to match the winner of Project Sunrise cannot be made until then.
    If all B747s are retired by 2020, there will not be sufficient aircraft to operate 3 SYD-YVR and extra SYD-SCL for the XMAS / New Year Holiday Period in 2021/2022. As Domestic is picking up, some A330-200s operating Internationally probably will have to be returned to Domestic Operations. Additional International aircraft would be required possibly, B787-10s.
    However, Qantas could delay this decision if the B747-400ERs retirements are deferred. A B747-400ER uses move fuel per passenger than a new twin. However, capital cost of a depreciated B747 would be less the cost of a new aircraft. These B747ERs do not turn twenty, Qantas normal retirement age until 2022/2023.
    Either B787-10s have to be purchased starting 2021 or the retirement of some or all B747-400ERs have to be deferred.

  • Jake

    says:

    Much respect to South West Pacific for being loyal to Perth like this. The first in Australia to be graced with this amazing aircraft!

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