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16-Hour Delivery Flight: Qantas Welcomes its Final Dreamliner Home

16-Hour Delivery Flight: Qantas Welcomes its Final Dreamliner Home


Qantas has added another Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft to its fleet. This is the eighth new aircraft Qantas has added to its fleet this year, alongside the reinstatement of two Airbus A380s from long-term storage. Qantas is looking to increase its international capacity now that travel is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The aircraft is named "Snowy River" and has registration code VH-ZNN. The name comes from the Snowy Mountains of southern New South Wales that the aircraft flew over on an approximately 16-hour delivery flight from Seattle to Melbourne.


Photo: Ethan Sewell | AeroXplorer


Qantas' engineers completed a variety of pre-service checks and modifications to ensure the aircraft was ready for regular passenger service. These activities included adding footrests, bassinets, and Qantas-specific safety equipment. 



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The aircraft's first commercial flight, Qantas Flight QF 9, departed Melbourne Airport (MEL) at 3:22 p.m. and landed at Perth Airport (PER) at 5:47 p.m. local time. The service later left Perth at 7:14 p.m. and is expected to land at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) at 5:00 a.m. local time the next day.


Photo: Thomas Tse | AeroXplorer


The aircraft's arrival adds more capacity to Qantas' international network. This will allow the airline to increase the frequency of its service connecting Sydney Airport (SYD) to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) with a stopover at Auckland Airport (AKL). The service, which currently operates three times a week with flight numbers QF 3 and QF 4, will receive an additional weekly flight in October.



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In May, Qantas announced that it would add approximately one million seats to its international flights over the next year. The airline's goal is to offer more choices for passengers traveling to destinations across Asia, the U.S., and the Pacific. Qantas has also committed to adding a new aircraft every three weeks over the next few years.


Photo: Sam Almo-Milkin | AeroXplorer


Qantas' regional airline subsidiary QantasLink is expected to receive its first Airbus A220-300 aircraft by the end of the year. QantasLink ordered 29 of the A220-300 aircraft currently under production at an Airbus facility in Mirabel, Canada. These aircraft are part of Qantas' fleet renewal order of up to 299 aircraft to replace and expand its narrowbody fleet.


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Cam Wallace, Qantas' International and Freight CEO, said: "More aircraft means more flying, which is great news for our customers and for our people. The arrival of a new aircraft is always an exciting time for our teams across Qantas and there's a lot of people who have been involved in getting Snowy River ready for its first passenger flight to London today. And there's a lot more to come as the biggest fleet renewal program in our history continues to ramp up."


Photo: Ethan Sewell | AeroXplorer


In addition, Wallace said: "This is the eighth new aircraft we've added to the Qantas group network this year as we've taken delivery of new planes, and we're on track to add another four over the next six months."



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Qantas has enlisted Australians to help name the Airbus A220 fleet, with the one rule being that the name relates to 'native wildlife'. More than 4,000 requests for potential names have already been submitted ahead of the survey's deadline on August 8. Once the deadline passes, a shortlist of approved names will be sent out to the public for voting. The final names will then be revealed based on the number of votes for each name that the public submits.

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