Qantas began a new chapter in its history today when it took delivery of the world`s first passenger Boeing 747-400 Extended Range aircraft.
Qantas Ambassador-at-Large John Travolta joined Qantas executives at the Boeing Company facility in Seattle, Washington, to take delivery of the new aircraft.
“Qantas was the first airline in its part of the world to take delivery of the 747 back in the 1970s and it is still at the forefront of aircraft selection with the delivery of this newest model,” Mr Travolta said.
Executive General Manager David Forsyth said the aircraft was one of six 747-400ERs which will be added to the Qantas fleet as part of the airline`s comprehensive fleet plan.
“Qantas has been a world leader in aviation for the past 82 years, and again we are leading the world with the delivery of this aircraft - the first commercial 747-400ER to be delivered by Boeing.
“The 747 has been the key to our long-haul success over more than 30 years, and this latest model, with its enhanced performance capability, will continue to give Qantas a competitive edge, particularly on the long trans-Pacific routes,” Mr Forsyth said.
The 747-400ER is the same size as the existing 747-400 aircraft, but has an increased take-off weight, which allows it to fly further or carry an increased payload in terms of freight or passengers than the existing 747-400 model.
As a further development of the existing 747-400 range, Mr Forsyth said the 747-400ER would fit seamlessly into the existing Qantas fleet.
“One of the major differences our customers will notice about this aircraft is its distinctive cabin interior. We have worked with Boeing to adapt the popular Boeing 777 interior with its enhanced feeling of comfort and spaciousness to this aircraft.”
The aircraft is scheduled to operate its first commercial service to Los Angeles next week.