The Boeing 787 Dreamliner today touched down in Melbourne on its first domestic Australian flight from Sydney, offering a glimpse of a new era in air travel.
Jetstar passengers will experience the quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft from mid-2013 when the airline becomes the first carrier in Australasia, and the first low cost carrier in the world, to fly the B787.
Victorian Minister for Aviation Gordon Rich-Phillips welcomed the VIP delegation travelling on board the aircraft’s first Australian domestic flight from Sydney to Melbourne, including Jetstar Group CEO Bruce Buchanan.
Jetstar expects to operate the B787* across its existing long haul network from Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast to destinations such as Bali, Bangkok, Phuket, Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore and Honolulu.
Mr Buchanan said preparations for the Dreamliner to enter service in 2013 were well-advanced and being led from Melbourne.
“Jetstar is a Melbourne-born company that is successfully exporting its low fares know-how to other markets around the world,” Mr Buchanan said.
“We’re proud to call Melbourne home and our team based here will coordinate the entry of this innovative aircraft into our fleet.”
Victorian Minister for Aviation Gordon Rich-Phillips said several key components for the Dreamliner would be manufactured in Melbourne by Boeing Aerostructures Australia.
“The Dreamliner is at the cutting edge of aircraft design and our involvement in manufacturing parts for the aircraft is testament to Victoria’s world class aerospace and aviation capabilities.”
Around 1,000 people are employed directly by Jetstar in Victoria, not including additional economic activity via suppliers.
Jetstar has almost 170 aircraft on order including the Dreamliner and the new Airbus A320 neos. These aircraft will be used to update its fleet as well as enabling expansion of new airlines such as Jetstar Japan. Being the first low cost carrier to fly the 787 forms part of Jetstar’s broader commitment to innovation. The airline was the first LCC to fly long haul, offers SMS boarding technology and recently rolled out iPads for in-flight entertainment.
*Subject to regulatory approval