ANA's 'We fly 1st' applies to stretch Dreamliner

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), the launch customer that took delivery of the first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on September 25, 2011, has taken delivery of the first 787-9, or "stretch" Dreamliner that will see commercial service.

ANA signed the papers for the stretch Dreamliner at the Boeing Aircraft Plant (NYSE:BA) at Paine Field (PAE) in Everett, Washington on Sunday, July 27. The aircraft departed the U.S. at approximately 9:30 p.m., Pacific daylight time on Monday, July 28 with an ANA crew at the controls and arrived at Tokyo's Haneda Airport (HND) just after 10:30 p.m Tuesday, July 29, Japan standard time.

ANA stretch Dreamliner at Boeing Plant in Everett, Wash.
Before putting the aircraft into scheduled commercial service on domestic routes, ANA will take “the next generation of air travelers on the next generation of aircraft,” the airline said in a statement announcing the plane’s delivery. ANA will fly American elementary school children living in Japan as well as Japanese school children from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND) over Mount Fuji on August 4, and then put the plane into scheduled service later in the month, making it the first airline to operate the stretch Dreamliner in scheduled service and bolstering its “We fly 1st” positioning statement.

While Air New Zealand took possession of the first stretch Dreamliner to be delivered to an airline a little more than two weeks earlier, as previously reported Air New Zealand will operate the aircraft on the Auckland – Perth route in October and to both Tokyo and Shanghai in November 2014.

The livery of ANA’s newest aircraft includes the logo of the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo that was born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The 9.0 earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011 also caused the tsunami that took nearly 16,000 lives along the coast of Honshu Island from the Tohoku to the Canto regions.

The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen ties between Japan and the U.S., and to invest in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs. The name comes from the Japanese word “tomodachi” that means “friends.”

As to the aircraft, the fuselage of the 787-9 is 20 feet longer that the 787-8, it is designed to carry up to 40 more passengers, and has a range of an additional 450 nautical miles. Like the 787-8, it offers what Boeing calls “exceptional environmental performance.” While the 787-8 burns 20 percent less fuel and emits 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes, the 787-9 does a bit better, at 23 percent savings.

ANA said the savings achieved from the 787 aircraft already in service in its fleet are sufficient to operate 500 round trips from Tokyo to Frankfurt (FRA). Those savings will increase when all 80 Dreamliners it has ordered are in operation.

ANA has configured the 787-9 with 395 seats in a two-class configuration comprising 18 Premium Class seats plus 377 economy seats. In total, that is 60 more than on the 787-8s flown on domestic routes.

Beginning with the next fiscal year in April 2015, ANA will introduce 787-9s on international routes. For a point of reference, the 787-8s currently flying international routes have either 158 or 167 in two-class configurations of Business and Economy, or 222 seats on 787-8s with three-class configurations of Business, Premium Economy and Economy. Like all Dreamliners, the 787-9 features large windows, large overhead bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride. See my previous post, Geeking Out over the Dreamliner, for more details.

To date, 26 customers from around the world have ordered 409 787-9s, accounting for 40% of all 787 orders, according to the planes’ manufacturer.

Next up, Boeing is working on the 787-10. The 787-10 will be the third and longest member of the Dreamliner family, with greater passenger and cargo capacity than either the 787-9 or the 787-8. At 224 feet long, it will be 18 feet longer than the 787-9 and 38 feet longer than the 787-8 and is designed to carry 323 passengers compared to 280 on the 787-9 and 242 on the 787-8. Its range of 7020 nautical miles, however, is the shortest of any of the Dreamliner category, according to Boeing’s fact sheets.

To date, seven customers have ordered 132 787-10s. Final assembly and flight test of the newest version of the Dreamliner are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018.

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Photo by Carl Dombek
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