Qantas’ first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which will launch the first London to Australia non-stop flight next March, has been rolled out of Boeing’s paint shop overnight.
The aircraft, which is the 615th Dreamliner built, required 250 liters of paint over a four-day period.
The 236-seat 787 is a fuel miser burning 34 percent less fuel per passenger than a Qantas A380, according to a Merrill Lynch report.
During the next few days, tests will be conducted on the engines, electrical systems, and other components before it takes to the skies later this week for Boeing flight certifications.
Qantas pilots will fly the 787 on subsequent flights as part of the final acceptance next month.
However, Qantas pilots have been flying Jetstar 787-8s for the past year to gain experience on the type.
Qantas has eight of the 787-9s on order with 45 options and price rights.
Qantas will fly the 787-9 on Australian domestic routes from November 6 to December 14 prior to it be used on the Melbourne to Los Angeles route.
In March, when the fourth 787 is delivered, the airline will launch the London to Perth route.
The fleet of four will operate London-Perth-Melbourne-Los Angeles on a daily basis.
The Qantas 787 will seat 236 passengers: 42 in business on seats that are an evolution of its acclaimed Thomson Aero Seating A330 suites, 166 in next generation economy seats and28 in the premium economy cabin.
The overall seat count is less than that of competitors such as United Airlines, which seats 252 on its equivalent planes, and Air New Zealand, which has 292 seats on its 787-9.
The airline is increasing the seat pitch on its new economy seats from the 31 inches (78.8cms) found on its Airbus A380s to 32 inches on its new flagship Dreamliner.
“The Dreamliner is an aircraft built for comfort,’’ Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said.
“The windows are bigger, it helps reduce jetlag, it’s extremely quiet and there’s a system that smooths out turbulence. Customers are going to love it.
“We’re planning to make the most of the 787’s amazing range, so we’ve designed the cabin to give Qantas passengers a better experience on long-haul flights.’’