Qantas reveals its 787 dream cabin

October 17, 2017
Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The new Qantas Boeing 787 economy class. Photo: Qantas

Qantas has unveiled what is quite possibly the ultimate cabin in the most advanced plane -the 787 – Boeing has built.

And the Qantas 787-9 cabin needs to be special because it will be home for 236 passengers on one of world’s longest routes from Perth to London.

The service starts in March next year.

Unlike some 787 operators, Qantas has adopted all of the architectural and lighting features that Boeing spent years developing with industrial design company Teague and universities to enhance the passenger’s experience of well-being and sense of spaciousness.

Read: Boeing 787 banishes jetlag

Walking on board the new plane, named Great Southern Land, you are greeted by a huge dome ceiling with soft beige lighting that gives you an amazing sense of space.

The two arches that curve up into the ceiling draw your eyes toward a soft morning sky lighting.

Move toward your seat and the soft morning light gives way to an ice blueish glow that makes the ceiling appear much higher than it really is.

Smoke and mirrors? No, smart science and you really do get the sense you are entering a spaceship.

Boeing research showed that if a passenger’s first impression is of spaciousness then that sense will stay with them for the entire flight.

Qantas Dreamliner Walkthrough

Join Captain Alex Passerini as he takes us on a walk through of the new #QantasDreamliner at The Boeing Company

Posted by Qantas on Monday, 16 October 2017


In every cabin there is more physical space and or private space than on any other Qantas aircraft – even the A380 – and there is a far greater sense of spaciousness.

While Qantas is not the first airline to take delivery of the 787, its first is the 615th built, it has benefitted from all the experience of other operators to perfect the cabin and the aircraft.

“There are lots of elements that combine to make the Qantas Dreamliner special,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said.

“The seats, the lighting, the entertainment, personal storage, right through to the special crockery, cutlery and glassware that weighs on average 11 per cent less.

“We’re working with sleep specialists, dieticians and other scientists at the University of Sydney to see how adjustments to our inflight service can improve wellbeing and help people adjust to new timezones.”

The business cabin has 46 suites, similar to those now installed on its A330s, although the bed is 2.54cm (I inch) wider and 18cm longer.

Qatas Dreamliner business
The Dreamliner’s business cabin. Photo: Qantas.

There are 28 premium economy seats which are wider and set further apart than on any other Qantas aircraft.

The feature-rich premium economy seats are wider and more functional overall with a unique recline motion that provides a cradle-type seat for sleeping and a 38-inch (96cm)  seat pitch. The seats are set in 2-3-2 configuration with the typically unpopular middle seat 2 inches (5cm) wider.

qantas premium economy 787
The new premium economy seats. Photo: Qantas.

The two economy zones have a total of 166 seats which are wider than those on a Qantas A330, while the legroom is greater than that on the airline’s A380 or 747s.

Qantas defied the  global trend to cram more people into aircraft by giving back to economy class passengers an inch of legroom, boosting the seat pitch to 32 inches.

The seats are also state-of-the-art from a comfort perspective, while the sense of space is real.

Importantly the enormous overhead luggage bins consume all carry-on baggage, freeing up the area under the seat in front.

The name Great Southern Land was chosen for the first aircraft out of 45,000 suggestions from the traveling public. Great Southern Land is both an alternative historic name for Australia and the name of an anthemic 1982 song by the band Icehouse.

As part of the aircraft unveiling in Seattle, Icehouse performed the hit song, the inspiration for which came to singer-songwriter  Iva Davies  as his Qantas flight crossed the country’s red centre.

Qantas will name each Dreamliner after something uniquely Australian, including animals, places and literature.

Davies Joyce 787 unveil
Qantas boss Alan Joyce and musician Iva Davies in front of Great Southern Land. Photo: Qantas.

Geoffrey Thomas is a guest of Boeing and Qantas


  1. Good to see QF has caught up to QR, just when QR launches Q-Suites, another level again. Get with it QF. The 787 has been in service nearly 8 years ladies.