Boeing delivers final 787-9 to Qantas

Qantas has taken delivery of its last Boeing 787-9, called Snowy River
Toshi K / Shutterstock.com

Boeing has delivered the final 787-9 Dreamliner to Qantas. 

The aircraft, registered as VH-ZNN and nicknamed Snowy River, landed at Melbourne Airport (MEL) on July 21, 2023, after departing Seattle Paine Field International Airport (previously known as Everett Paine Field (PAE) on the same day, according to flightradar24.com data. 

According to Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries data, Qantas currently has 14 Boeing 787-9 aircraft in its fleet, and no unfilled orders remain. Airbus’ filings show that it still has to deliver 29 Airbus A220, 45 A320neo, 76 A321neo (eight delivered), and 12 A350-1000 to the airline. However, some of the A321neos will be operated by the group’s low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar. 

Over the years, Qantas has placed several Boeing 787 orders, totaling 76 aircraft between March 2006 and May 2018. In March 2006, the Australian carrier ordered 27 787-8 and 18 787-9 aircraft, adding 20 more 787-9s in November 2007. Qantas further ordered five 787-9s in October 2015 and six in May 2018, according to Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries filings as of June 30, 2023. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian airline suspended deliveries of all aircraft, which is why Boeing has only now completed the 14-unit order. Qantas’ last delivery of a new aircraft before the pandemic was on December 19, 2019, with the planemaker resuming the shipment of new airframes to the airline on April 29, 2023, according to planespotters.net data. 

Jetstar took delivery of 11 Boeing 787-8s between September 2013 and September 2015. 

The latest 787-9 first flew on November 11, 2020, according to ch-aviation.com data. 

During its Investor Day on May 5, 2023, the Australian airline outlined that the Boeing 787-9 enables point-to-point routes, allowing it to achieve a profit on its routes to London Heathrow Airport (LHR). Qantas said that the Dreamliner is a “transformative aircraft” for long-haul operations, providing smaller gauge, resulting in lower risk and enabling flights to smaller markets, and other benefits. 

Meanwhile, Qantas expects Airbus to deliver the A350-1000s, dedicated to the ultra-long-haul Project Sunrise flights, between FY2026 (which begins on July 1, 2025) and FY2028 (ending on June 31, 2028). Project Sunrise will see Qantas connecting Sydney, Australia, with London, the United Kingdom and New York, the United States.  

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