Qantas has received another factory-fresh Boeing 787-9, beefing up its Dreamliner fleet to a dozen. But instead of being a cause for celebration, Qantas has quietly ferried the new plane to Victorville, where it will join the majority of the Qantas Dreamliner fleet in hibernation.
VH-ZNN quietly ferried to Victorville
An eagle-eyed Jennifer Schuld spied the plane and posted a photo of it on Twitter. The newest addition to the Qantas fleet is VH-ZNN.
Qantas last tinkered with its Dreamliner order in May 2018, adding an additional six planes to their previous order whilst simultaneously announcing the 747’s days at Qantas were numbered.
“This really is the end of one era and the start of another,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce at the time. While he paid tribute to the jumbo jet, in the end, it was all about efficiencies.
“The 787 has better economics and a longer range,” said My Joyce.
Brand new Qantas 787-9 VH-ZNN was ferried from Everett to Victorville today for storage pic.twitter.com/jNDj3VHcPp
— Jennifer Schuld (@JenSchuld) November 12, 2020
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This Dreamliner delivery in stark contrast to other 787-9 deliveries
The under the radar delivery of VH-ZNN is in stark contrast to the hoopla surrounding earlier deliveries of the Dreamliners at Qantas. When the first one arrived, just three years ago, the airline pulled out all stops making sure everyone knew about it.
“The arrival of the Dreamliner coincides with a new chapter for Qantas,” said Mr Joyce then.
“It’s a very exciting time, especially as we prepare for our centenary in 2020.”
Things haven’t turned out quite as planned this year. Of the 14 Dreamliners Qantas had ordered, just three are retained in active service in Australia. The three Dreamliners still flying in Australia are VH-ZNC Quokka, VH-ZND Yam Dreaming, and VH-ZNK Gangurru.
The latter, VH-ZNK, has been busy operating repatriation flights from London, the most recent landing back in Australia on Thursday.
VH-ZNC flew a repatriation flight from New Delhi to Darwin on Tuesday before operating a domestic sector down to Sydney.
VH-ZND quietly left Sydney Airport on Wednesday to fly across to Johannesburg. On Friday evening (Johannesburg time), the plane will operate a repatriation flight across to Perth.
Dreamliner to get wheeled out for Monday’s centenary flight
Qantas will wheel out a Dreamliner again on Monday. On the books is a special centenary flight over Sydney to mark Qantas’ 100th birthday. Ably flown by Captains Lisa Norman, Sean Golding, Alex Passerini, and First Officer David Summergreene, the flight will buzz Sydney for 100 minutes to mark 100 years.
Seats on the flight are as rare as hen’s teeth and have been quietly shopped around to Qantas’ best customers, including selected Platinum One members.
Earlier in the week, Qantas told Simple Flying;
“While the lead-up to the Centenary milestone hasn’t quite been how we planned, we will mark the day accordingly as it represents the start of our Centenary year and a new era for Australia’s national carrier.”
When Qantas took that first Dreamliner three years ago, the odds are they weren’t anticipating such a low key centenary or quietly shuffling a brand new 787 off into storage. But it’s worth noting these final few Dreamliner deliveries weren’t canceled. When business does pick up, Qantas wants to take advantage of opportunities opening up with their Dreamliners. And Qantas does believe business will bounce back. It’s just a matter of time. Parked planes or not, Alan Joyce has previously said;
“I have a lot of optimism that Qantas can get through this.”