Australian flag-carrier Qantas is to base four of its forthcoming Boeing 787-9s in Brisbane, Australia.
Qantas has eight 787-9s on order, with the first due to arrive in October. The first batch of four will be stationed in Melbourne, Australia, with the first of the Brisbane-based batch due to arrive in mid-2018. All four aircraft are scheduled to be in place by the end of 2018.
From Brisbane, the 787-9 is capable of flying nonstop to destinations such as Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and Vancouver.
The new aircraft will initially replace Boeing 747s; the 787-9s' greater range opens up more potential destinations than can be reached by the 747s.
"Queensland is the birthplace of Qantas, and it's fitting that we will base four of our [787-9s] in the [Australian] state," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said. "Each aircraft we base in Brisbane brings new jobs. One hundred and twenty of our [787-9] cabin crew and pilots will be based in the city ... A further 350 indirect jobs are expected to be created as a result." He anticipated that the new routes available with the 787-9 would drive more international tourism to Queensland.
The airline's first four Melbourne-based 787-9s will operate the Melbourne-Los Angeles route from December, and the Melbourne-London (via Perth) route from March.
Qantas will take delivery of its first 787-9 in October. The carrier will fly it on domestic sectors for six weeks for crew training and familiarization before its first scheduled Melbourne-Los Angeles service Dec. 15. The carrier will operate the aircraft in a three-cabin, 236-seat configuration with 42 business-class, 28 premium-economy and 166 economy seats.