Boeing delivers first 787 Dreamliner to All Nippon Airways
The world’s first passenger-ready Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner was delivered to Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways on a rainy and blustery day at Boeing’s facilities in Everett, Wash.
A crowd of about 500 people, made up of employees, local politicians and aviation industry insiders gathered for a ceremony on a wet tarmac to see Boeing hand over the keys to All Nippon.
The entire event was webcast on Boeing’s website starting at 9 a.m. PDT.
The 787 Dreamliner is an all-new commercial jetliner that Boeing says is the most advanced, fuel-stingy passenger jet ever made. It features a suite of new technologies, such as the industry's largest windows, and an extensive use of strong, lightweight carbon composites.
"This will be an airplane that will define flight for years to come," Jim Albaugh, chief executive of Boeing commercial airplanes, told the crowd.
The aircraft was once expected by May 2008, and has seen its delivery date pushed back several times due to design problems and supplier issues. The effect of the delays has been far-reaching, hurting 787 suppliers stretching from Southern California to Russia, Japan and Italy. There are about 50 suppliers in California alone.
"Every obstacle became a challenge," Albaugh said.
The 787, which will seat 210 to 290 passengers, is the first new class of aircraft launched by Boeing since the 777 in 1995. There are 821 orders for the plane from airlines and aircraft leasing firms around the world.
Shinichiro Ito, All Nippon’s chief executive, said at the ceremony: "I cannot wait to see the day when the skies of the world are filled with 787s."
-- W.J. Hennigan
Photo: In this July 13 file photo, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner taxis on the runway at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Credit: Associated Press