Jetstar passengers will be among the first New Zealanders to experience the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with the airline expecting to put to the aircraft on its Auckland-Singapore route* in 2013.
Group CEO Bruce Buchanan said Jetstar would be the first airline based in Australasia, and the first low cost carrier in the world, to operate the Boeing 787.
"The 787 is a quantum leap in aircraft technology and passenger comfort, so we’re really looking forward to offering it to our New Zealand customers on international flights," said Mr Buchanan.
"It’s been said that the 787 represents the same kind of paradigm shift we saw with the first commercial jetliners in the 1950s and the 747 jumbos in the 1970s.
"The increased fuel economy, longer range and improved cabin experience make the 787 an absolute game-changer for passengers and airlines," he added.
Key features of the 787 Dreamliner are:
- Fuel consumption about 20 per cent less than similar-sized twin-engine aircraft, making it more environmentally friendly
- Passenger windows up to 65 per cent larger, which can be dimmed electronically
- Significantly improved cabin pressure (6000ft instead of 8000ft), increased humidity (about 15 per cent higher) and improved air filtration for a more pleasant cabin experience.
Mr Buchanan said the 787’s improved efficiency was good news for Jetstar customers as well as the airline.
"Fuel is one of the biggest costs airlines face, and as we’ve seen when oil prices spike, that ultimately flows through to the fares people pay. By investing in modern, fuel-efficient aircraft we strengthen ourability to offer consistently lower fares to our customers," he added.
Jetstar already has one of the youngest fleets of any major airline, with an average age of four years for its existing fleet compared with the industry average of about 11 years.
The 787s will gradually replace the Airbus A330s that Jetstar uses on long-haul international routes such as Auckland-Singapore, configured with business and economy class cabins.
Currently, Jetstar has almost 170 aircraft on order, including the Dreamliner and the new Airbus A320 neos. These aircraft will be used to update its fleet as well as enabling expansion of new airlines such as Jetstar Japan.
Being the first low cost carrier to fly the 787 forms part of Jetstar’s broader commitment to innovation.
The airline was the first LCC to fly long haul, offers SMS boarding technology and recently rolled out iPads for in-flight entertainment.
* Subject to regulatory approval
Image link: 787 in Jetstar livery