1st Jetstar in Final Assembly (VH-VKA)
Jetstar's first B787, VH-VKA is in in its final assembly stage in Boeing's Everett factory. The first Boeing 787 to be registered in Australia is to be delivered to Jetstar earlier to the planned date in September. Jetstar has confirmed that the first B787 will initially fly domestic routes around Australia to places including Gold Coast and Cairns. After giving thousands of Australians an experience flying on the state-of-the-art plane, the 787 will eventually join the international service Jetstar Airways offers.
Jetstar director of the Boeing 787 program, Mr. Dal Pra said that the plane would reduce operating unit costs. Jetstar's 14 Dreamliners will gradually replace its current fleet of A330s and by 2015, the low-cost Australian airline will have a full 787 longhaul fleet.
The first 787 for Jetstar has entered final assembly at Boeing’s Everett factory ahead of its planned delivery in late September.
The aircraft, to be registered VH-VKA, is due to enter service on Jetstar’s domestic network in Australia in November before transitioning to international flights from December, the airline’s director of Boeing 787 program Mark Dal Pra announced at Everett on June 3.
The domestic flights, likely to include services from Melbourne and Sydney to the Gold Coast and Cairns, will follow a period of crew training and familiarisation.
Dal Pra also confirmed that Jetstar’s 14 787-8s will be configured in a 335-seat configuration, featuring 21 Recaro recliner business class seats in a 2+3+2 configuration and 314 slimline Pinnacle economy seats at nine abreast (3+3+3) and Panasonic’s eX2 inflight entertainment system. Seat pitch in both classes will be similar to that on Jetstar’s A330s.
Jetstar will use the 14 787s to replace its existing fleet of Airbus A330-200s on long haul international services. Eleven 787s are due to be service by 2015, allowing the transfer of the A330s to parent Qantas.