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Hooroo! The First Qantas Dreamliner Has Touched Down In Sydney

Feels like home.

After much anticipation, the plane tasked with what will be the world’s longest flight has touched down in Sydney.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arrived to much fanfare at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport this morning, with around 1000 excited Qantas employees – including CEO Alan Joyce – welcomed the aircraft following its 18-hour flight from Seattle.

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Fittingly, the aircraft – which was has been named Great Southern Land – arrived to the tune of the Aussie rock anthem of the same name. Incidentally, Icehouse lead singer and songwriter Iva Davies said he was inspired to write the song as his Qantas flight crossed Australia’s Red Centre back in the early ’80s.

Joyce said the arrival of a new aircraft is always exciting, but the Dreamliner is in a league of its own.

“We’ve taken delivery of hundreds of aircraft in our 98-year history, but only a few of them have been game-changes like this one,” he said, adding that it follows the trail blazed by aircraft like the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380.

“Our version of the Dreamliner follows in those footsteps. It gives us a combination of flying range and passenger comfort that will change how people travel.”

The Dreamliner’s next-generation seating, Boeing-designed turbulence-dampening technology, improved air quality (see ya, jet lag) and larger windows make it the perfect aircraft to take on Qantas’ non-stop Perth-to-London flight, which will be the world’s longest when it takes off in March.

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It’ll fly a number of domestic passenger services before embarking on its first international flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles on December 15.

The second Qantas Dreamliner is currently on the production line at Boeing’s headquarters in Seattle. It’s due to be delivered in December, while the full fleet of eight aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2018.

“The arrival of the Dreamliner coincides with a new chapter for Qantas. We’re recruiting more pilots and cabin crew, we’re expanding the number of places we fly, and we’re investing in technology to improve all parts of the customer journey. It’s a very exciting time, especially as we prepare for our centenary in 2020,” Joyce said.

(Lead image: Qantas)

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