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  • Jasmine Johnson

Qantas gives 'Suite Dreams' on their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Qantas has just received its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane - the innovative aircraft they will use next year to start flying the world's first non-stop route between Australia and London.

The aircraft named "Great Southern Land" represents the first new plane model to be delivered to Qantas since they received their first Airbus A380 in 2008.

Only two Dreamliner routes have been officially announced thus far: the Melbourne to Los Angeles service starts from the 15th of December and the new 17 hour Perth to London service starts on March 24th, 2018.

The Dreamliner, and it's rival Airbus plane the A350, are starting to become the aircraft of choice for major airlines, thanks to their fuel efficiency which can save airlines millions. This has in turn seen the popularity of the iconic Boeing 747 jumbo jet, and its much newer rival, the A380, wane in recent years.

The era of the QF 747 in Australia is coming to an end, as Qantas replaces five of its ageing jumbo jets with the new Dreamliners. Qantas is set to receive a further six 787s before the end of next year.

For passengers the new aircraft is also good news. The Dreamliner 787 has been built to meet the demands of long-haul flights, and includes a range of new features including larger windows, improved air quality, quieter engines and a new ‘ride dampening’ technology that can detect and counteract turbulence. This therefore helps to reduce the effects of jet lag and motion sickness.

However the technology advances aren't the only thing that’s got people talking. Flying Business class just got even more desirable, with the new cabin dubbed as “Mini First".

The "Business Suite" converts to a fully flat bed that is 80 inches (2.03 metres) long and 24 inches wide. There's a privacy screen to shield you from other passengers, plus a 16 inch entertainment screen - and you can keep the seat in its recline position for take off and landing. The cabin seats 42 passengers in a 1-2-1 layout and offers direct aisle access for all passengers.

Qantas has also collaborated with Oroton to offer 787 business class passengers a limited-edition amenity kit. Featuring a black embossed print, each section of the artwork on the kit is a nod to a different part of the Australian landscape and cultural icons of the country. It includes a matching wraparound eye mask as well as the current ASPAR products.

Arguably the most innovative product on board is the next generation Premium Economy boasting a seat that is 10 per cent wider and has a greater recline than Qantas's existing premium economy product. It's certainly not a flat bed - but it's definitely the next best thing, - the new design makes you feel cradled in the seat with a net basket to elevate your feet and a calf support for the lower leg. A special pillow is also included that attaches to the seat back to maximize comfort.

The premium economy cabin will feature 28 seats in a 2-3-2 layout. Passengers in the dreaded middle seat in premium economy will be given an extra five centimetres of seat width, compared to other premium economy seats in the cabin.

Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce has his eyes set on the next challenge; non-stop flights between Australia's east coast and London, as well as New York. Dubbed "Project Sunrise", he has challenged Boeing and Airbus to come up with an aircraft that can fly the extreme distance between these cities while under a full load of passengers and cargo. Boeing has said they are up for the challenge and are working with Qantas on developing an aircraft capable of flying these non-stop routes, which would each cover more than 16,000 kilometres and take more than 18 hours.

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