Thursday, April 30, 2015

ANA to debut stretch Dreamliner on international routes

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), the launch customer for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will become the first Japanese airline to place the larger 787-9 Dreamliner into international service when it introduces the Boeing 787-9 on its Haneda-Munich (HND-MUC) route on May 5.

“Introduction of the extended Dreamliner will streamline operational costs and drive continued growth for ANA,” the airline said in a statement announcing the introduction of the stretch Dreamliner's international service. The new plane will also offer “a suite of upgrades to the in-flight entertainment system, in line with the airline’s commitment to providing the highest levels of comfort and convenience to its customers.”

ANA stretch Dreamliner at Boeing Plant in Everett, Wash.
The airline took delivery of its first stretch Dreamliner on July 27, 2014, as previously reported by TheTravelPro. That aircraft has been operating on domestic routes, carrying 377 passengers in Economy and 18 in Business Class, according to the airline.

The new 787-9 aircraft for international flights will have three classes of service including Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy and will carry a total of 215 passengers, at least 48 more than the 787-8s on international routes.

Most of the 787-8s currently flying international routes have either 158 or 167 seats in two-class configurations of Business and Economy, according to SeatGuru.com. However, some Dreamliners with 222 seats in three-class configurations of Business, Premium Economy and Economy have occasionally been used on international routes.

The new 787-9, the airline's second, will offer 48 Business Class seats, 21 Premium Economy seats and 146 Economy seats with pitches of 44 inches, 38 inches and 34 inches, respectively. Pitch is the distance from the back of one seat to the back of the seat in front of it.

The fuselage of the 787-9 is 20 feet longer that the 787-8 and has a range of an additional 450 nautical miles. Like the 787-8, it offers what manufacturer 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 has 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.

The new international 787-9 is also equipped with the airline’s latest amenities across all cabin classes. New in-flight services include ANA SKY LIVE TV, a feature that allows passengers to view broadcast television programming in real-time, a first among Japanese airlines. In addition, passengers will have access to a choice of free digital content including e-books and e-magazines, and an upgraded ANA Sky Map, which offers passengers a new multifunctional 3-D perspective to their flight path.

Notably, ANA also announced that the new aircraft will be the first 787 in its fleet to offer in-flight Wi-Fi service, a feature an airline executive told TheTravelPro in 2012 it would be adding in the future.

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.

The latest introduction of the 787-9 aircraft into international service is in line with ANA’s strategy for continued growth, which includes the development of new flight routes and increased flight frequency on existing routes, while maintaining its commitment to increased competitiveness and the highest standards of service and convenience to its customers, the airline said.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photo by Carl Dombek
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