Qantas has officially welcomed its latest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to Australia. It’s the eighth new aircraft added to the Qantas Group fleet so far this year, in addition to two A380s that have returned from long-term storage, as the airline continues to increase its international capacity.
The aircraft, named ‘Snowy River’, with the official registration VH-ZNN, arrived in Melbourne on Sunday after a 19-hour delivery flight from Seattle which passed the Snowy Mountains region, a nod to the aircraft’s namesake.
Qantas engineers have completed a series of pre-service checks and modifications this week, including installing footrests, bassinets and Qantas-specific safety equipment to prepare the aircraft for its first commercial flight which is scheduled to depart today, operating QF9 from Melbourne to Perth and onwards to London.
The 787’s arrival adds more capacity to Qantas’ international network and supports the increase of Sydney-Auckland-New York flights from three to four per week from late October. In May this year, the Group announced it is adding around one million seats to its international network over 12 months, offering customers more choice to destinations across Asia, the United States and the Pacific.
The arrival of the latest Dreamliner comes as the Qantas Group’s fleet renewal program continues to ramp up, with a new aircraft joining the fleet every three weeks on average over the next few years.
QantasLink’s first 137-seat Airbus A220 aircraft is coming together at Airbus’ production facility in Mirabel, Canada. The first of 29 A220 aircraft is expected to arrive in Australia before the end of the year. These aircraft are part of Qantas’ historic fleet renewal order of up to 299 new aircraft to replace and grow its narrowbody fleet.
Qantas has invited Australians to help name the new fleet, based around the theme ‘native wildlife’. More than 4,000 submissions have already been received, with two weeks remaining for people to submit up to six names via qantas.com. A shortlist will be released so the public can vote for their favourites before the final names are revealed.
Comments – to be attributed to Qantas International & Freight CEO, Cam Wallace
“More aircraft means more flying, which is great news for our customers and for our people.
“The arrival of a new aircraft is always an exciting time for our teams across Qantas and there’s a lot of people who have been involved in getting Snowy River ready for its first passenger flight to London today. And there’s a lot more to come as the biggest fleet renewal program in our history continues to ramp up.
“This is the eighth new aircraft we’ve added to the Qantas group network this year as we’ve taken delivery of new planes, and we’re on track to add another four over the next six months.”