A historic day for All Nippon Airways (ANA) as the NH7871 prepares for take off at 1220 Tokyo time from Narita, for a four and a half hours journey to Hong Kong.
The aircraft, though three years late, is manufactured to improve passenger comfort by maintaining air pressure inside the cabin at the equivalent of 1,800 metres above ground, much lower than conventional 2,400 metres.
Windows are 30 per cent larger than those in Boeing 767 and smart glass uses electro-chromatic technology to reduce glare at the touch of a button.
Overhead compartments are 30 per cent larger than those on Boeing 777, allowing four large carry-ons.
Boeing vice-president and general manager 787 program Scott Fancher said at a press function last night, having ANA as the launch airline is meaningful as 35 per cent of the aircraft was made in Japan with Japanese technology.
Currently 30 pilots have completed training and are now licensed to fly the 787; by the end of the year the number of trained pilots will reach 100.
The airline also commented that in addition to many enhanced features the maintenance tasks have been reduced by 30 per cent, with less frequent inspections required and maintenance intervals longer. For example, the first heavy maintenance of the Dreamliner is not required until after 12 years of service.
ANA chief executive and president Shinichiro Ito, who will also be on this charter flight, says that the new aircraft will help the carrier's goal to become number one in Asia.
The fuel-efficient game changer will start with domestic services to Okayama and Hiroshima on November 1 with services to Beijing to follow next. In 2012 the aircraft will be fly to Europe (potentially Switzerland) and the US, beginning with West Coast destinations
For a review of the historic flight between Tokyo and Hong Kong, click here.
Stay tuned for exclusive inflight photos. For our coverage of the ANA Dreamliner delivery, click on the following links:
- The Big Picture: Inside ANA's new B787 Dreamliner
- Special Report: Boeing's first B787 Dreamliner delivered to ANA