Features

Boeing 787 Dreamliner: How the airlines compare

1 Jan 2014 by BusinessTraveller
Boeing B787-10 Dreamliner

Business Traveller brings you a comprehensive guide to how the airlines are deploying their Boeing Dreamliners

(We also have guides to the Airbus A380 and Airbus A350).

BACKGROUND

Boeing’s B787 Dreamliner family consists of three models of twin-engine, long-haul aircraft – the launch version B787-8 and a longer variant B787-9, both of which are in operation, and the forthcoming and largest model the B787-10, which took its first flight on March 31, 2017.

The aircraft is built using 50 per cent composite materials, with key features including greater fuel efficiency than similarly sized aircraft already in production, a decreased noise footprint, and the largest windows of any commercial aircraft.

The B787-8 had been scheduled to be delivered to launch customer ANA in 2008, but several delays including a machinist strike at Boeing, and an in-flight fire during testing, pushed the first delivery back to 2011.

Further setbacks occurred in 2013, when Boeing was forced to ground the aircraft worldwide, following faulty battery systems.

ANA B787

ANA

All Nippon Airways became the launch customer for the B787 in September 2011, with the inaugural flight between Tokyo and Hong Kong the following month.

The Japanese carrier now has a total of 62 B787s in its fleet (36 B787-8s and 26 B787-9s) and a further 21 on order, three of which will be B787-10s.

The airline operates its Dreamliner aircraft in a total of six configurations to cater for regional and long-haul markets. None of the layouts feature a first class cabin.

Japan Airlines JAL 787

Japan Airlines

Fellow Japanese airline JAL was the second carrier to take delivery of the Dreamliner in March 2012, putting it into service on its Tokyo to Boston route, with future destinations including Beijing, Moscow, New Delhi and Singapore.

JAL operates both the B787-8 and B787-9 models, with a total of 35 aircraft across three configurations, and a further four B787-8s and ten B787-9s on order.

Ethiopian-B787

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines launched its B787 aircraft in August 2012, with the Dreamliner embarking on first an African and then a world tour, including flights to Dubai, Mumbai, Rome, London and Frankfurt, before being rostered onto the carrier’s Washington route.

It now has 16 B787-8s in its fleet, with a further three B787-8s and four B787-9s on order.

LATAM B787-9

LATAM

Chilean carrier LAN (now part of the LATAM group) became the first South American airline to take delivery of the Dreamliner, when it received the aircraft the same month as Ethiopian Airlines.

LAN serves destinations including Buenos Aires, Lima, Los Angeles, Madrid, and Frankfurt with a total of 23 B787 aircraft (ten B787-8s and 14 B787-9s) and a further nine on order.

The carrier’s B787-8 aircraft is configured with 217 economy seats in a 3-3-3 layout, and 30 fully-flat seats in business class configured 2-2-2, while the B787-9 is configured with 283 economy seats and 30 in business class.

Air India B787

Air India

Air India took delivery of its first B787 in September 2012, with 18 business class seats in a 2-2-2 layout, and 238 economy seats configured 3-3-3.

It now has 23 B787-8s in its fleet with a further four on order, as well as seven B787-9s yet to be delivered.

Air India first began flying the aircraft between its Delhi hub and Dubai, before adding Dreamliner routes to destinations including Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Seoul, Osaka and London Heathrow.

 

United Airlines B787 Dreamliner

United Airlines

Also in September 2012, United Airlines received its first Dreamliner. That aircraft embarked on a month-long training and certification programme, before its inaugural commercial flight between Houston and Chicago in November that year.

The carrier now has 12 B787-8s in its fleet, as well as 20 B787-9s. Future deliveries include four more B787-9s and 14 B787-10 aircraft.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Qatar Airways became the first Middle Eastern carrier to receive a B787 in November 2012, with the aircraft initially operating on intra-Gulf flights before being rostered onto the key Doha-London Heathrow route in December.

In 2011, the carrier unveiled its brand new business class seats. These have been fitted onto the Dreamliner aircraft, featuring a 1-2-1 layout, with a seat width of 22 inches, rising to 30 inches when converted into an 80-inch fully flat bed.

For a review of the new business class seat, carried out on the carrier’s Dreamliner delivery flight between Seattle and Doha, click here.

Qatar currently has nine B787-8s in its fleet with a further 21 on order.

LOT Polish Airlines also took delivery of its first B787 aircraft in November 2012. It now has five in its fleet with a further three B787-8s on order.

The carrier launched the aircraft on its Warsaw to Prague and had plans to fly the aircraft to eight European destinations — Prague, Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt, Hannover, Kiev, Budapest and Brussels.

For more details on the seating offered on LOT’s Dreamliner, along with a video of the aircraft taking off on its delivery flight from Seattle, click here.

Leisure carrier Thomson Airways has taken delivery of four B787-8s since receiving its first in May 2013 and has a further four on order. To read a review of the inaugural commercial flight, click here.

Aeromexico currently has three Dreamliners in its fleet, the first of which was delivered in August last year. In October, it began flying these from Mexico City to Tokyo and New York and, in November, to Paris.

The carrier plans to deploy a B787-8 on its Mexico City to London Heathrow route, currently operated by a B767. in April.

In 2014, two more B787-8s will be incorporated into the Aeromexico fleet, from a total of 19 B787s on order (nine B787-8s and ten B787-9s).

Emirates has ordered 40 of Boeing’s soon-to-launch 787-10 Dreamliner to come over the next five years.

The airline also has an order of 150 B777X, another soon-to-launch Boeing aircraft, in the pipeline.

 

Virgin Atlantic B787-9 Dreamliner

USEFUL LINKS

Both businesstraveller.com and seatplans.com have a wealth of information on the airlines currently operating B787 aircraft, from images and videos, to seatplans and flight reviews.

Here are a few links for each B787 carrier which you may find useful – for a full list of all Dreamliner articles published by Business Traveller, including new routes and product information, click here.

We have also published a special report looking at the building of the Boeing Dreamliner, complete with images taken inside the manufacturer’s factory in Seattle – to read this click here.

ANA

JAL

Qatar Airways

Thomson Airways

LAN

United Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines

Etihad Airways

Air India

British Airways

LOT Polish Airlines

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