How time flies, a year of 787 flying

Published on 26th October 2018 at 16:19

They grow up so fast. It seems like only yesterday that we were watching our first 787 Dreamliner come together at Boeing’s Seattle factory, eagerly anticipating when we’d be able to take the newest member of the fleet home. In fact, this week marks a year since our first 787-9 Great Southern Land touched down in Australia.

The first Qantas Dreamliner on the Boeing production line.

The time’s flown, and GSL has been joined by a further five 787s with another eight on the way. It’s been a year of firsts, record-breaking flights and some seriously impressive stats for our newest recruits:

  • The 787 fleet has flown more than 14 million kilometres; that’s equivalent to travelling around the globe 361 times.
  • More than 18,000 hours in the air across 2,000 flights
  • Almost half a million passengers welcomed onboard
  • Our engineers have spent a combined 21,000 hours working on our 787s to keep them at peak performance.
  • The 787 uses 2.5 litres less fuel for every kilogram of payload (aka passengers and freight), compared to the Boeing 747.
  • Over 1,000 cabin crew and 200 pilots trained to fly on the 787.
  • We served 564,000 meals on the Dreamliner – plus 210,000 Fantales.
  • Almost 5,000 tonnes of flowers from Amsterdam (including tulips) delivered to Melbourne.

October 2017: Our first 787-9, Great Southern Land, arrives in Sydney.

Our Perth-London Dreamliner service brought Australia and the UK closer than ever before when we started our non-stop service in March, and since then it’s kept getting closer.

In September the Qantas 787 set a new speed record between the two countries, flying from London to Perth in 15 hours 34 minutes, shaving an hour off the scheduled time.

We studied a decade of weather patterns to find the best flight paths, then combined it with an intelligent flight planning system to hone in on the route with the most favourable winds of the day. Not every 787 flight breaks a speed record, and winds tend to be seasonal, but we’ve found four in every five of our flights between Perth and London beat their scheduled time. No wonder it has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any flight on our network.

We’re now preparing for the next challenge in long haul travel with Project Sunrise, our goal to offer nonstop flights from the east coast of Australia to New York and London by 2022.