Qantas Gives A Little More Info On Its 787-9 Dreamliner

Qantas 787-9 Dreamliner may receive commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission which helps contribute to the running of the site – I’m very grateful to anyone who uses these links but their use is entirely optional. The compensation does not impact how and where products appear on this site and does not impact reviews that are published.

Qantas has been talking to AUBT and, because of that, we now know a little bit more about when to expect the new aircraft and when we can expect to get more information on routes that it will fly.

The airline will receive its first 787-9 Dreamliner in October next year and a further 3 aircraft are expected to be delivered by summer 2018.

787-DreamlinerImage courtesy of Qantas

It’s no secret that Qantas can’t wait to begin replacing its fuel-guzzling 747 aircraft (5 in total) so we can expect to see the new plane appear on routes where the larger (and considerably less efficient) 747 isn’t really needed – like some of the routes to the US for example.

The purpose on the new Dreamliners isn’t only to replace older, less efficient aircraft but also to open up new routes that aren’t considered economical with Qantas’ current fleet – we’ve seen Qantas’ JV partner, American Airlines, doing this with its LA-Auckland route – so it will be interesting to see where Qantas goes with its new toy.

So far routes that have been thrown out for discussion include:

  • Sydney – Chicago
  • Melbourne – Dallas
  • Brisbane – Dallas
  • Perth – London (ambitious!)

But this is really all just speculation.

According to AUBT, Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans has confirmed that the airline is currently “working through” where the 787-9s will fly and we should be given more information before this year is out. For the time being here’s a diagram from Qantas showing the approximate range that the 787-9 will have assuming a departure from the East Coast:


Qantas has already hinted that the new Dreamliner will be a “premium heavy” aircraft and AUBT has apparently seen an internal Qantas seating plan that shows 42 Business Class seats, 28 Premium Economy seats and 165 Economy Class seats.

Qantas CEO Allan Joyce in on record as saying that we’ll “see a very luxurious configuration on these aircraft and that’s there because of the distance [they’ll] be flying” and, back in June, he went on to say:

 There’ll be a big business class, a big premium economy cabin and we’ll obviously be given some very good seat pitch for the economy seats given the lengths that we will be flying.

Qantas is working on the new Business Class seats for the Dreamliner with the Belfast division of Thompson who supplied the highly praised “Business Suite” for the Qantas A330 aircraft:

qantas-a330-business-suite-qantasQantas A330 Business Suite – image courtesy of Qantas

qantas-a330-business-suite-qantas-2Qantas A330 Business Suite – image courtesy of Qantas

And if the Dreamliner seat is being based on this then Qantas flyers will be happy.

One piece of bad news is that Economy Class will see a 9-across layout (3-3-3) which will mean that there won’t be a lot of seat width for passengers to enjoy….but at least Joyce has promised “very good seat pitch” so we’ll see how that pans out.

Bottom Line

I haven’t flown Qantas very often and not at all in the past few years…but I still remember my Premium Economy flight from LA to Sydney, my Economy flights between Sydney and Perth and my Business Class flight from Sydney back to LA with fondness.

I’ve always found the staff and crew to be friendly and helpful and the airline’s product very good indeed (even in Economy Class back in 2011) so I’m looking forward to seeing how the airline sets out its new aircraft and which routes it will fly first.

You can be sure that I’ll be hunting for award availability the moment the new routes go live (I suspect it will be scarce) as I need another excuse to visit the Qantas Sydney First Class lounge 🙂