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.
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.
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.