Boeing 787 Readies for ANA Deployment

By Frank Yu
Frank Yu
Frank Yu
July 4, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

LANDED: A Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, painted in the ANA colors of white and blue, arrives at Tokyo's Haneda airport during a test flight on July 4. ANA staff held a banner in English saying 'Welcome to Japan' upon the jet's arrival. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
LANDED: A Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, painted in the ANA colors of white and blue, arrives at Tokyo's Haneda airport during a test flight on July 4. ANA staff held a banner in English saying 'Welcome to Japan' upon the jet's arrival. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
The first batch of Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner commercial jet aircraft landed in Tokyo on Monday, kicking off a week of intense testing before it goes airborne with its launch customer All Nippon Airways (ANA).

The first jet, currently at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, will be tested on ANA’s domestic Japan routes with ANA staff alongside personnel dispatched by Boeing.

The 787 jet was welcomed by ANA employees with a “Welcome to Japan” banner and the company offered live streaming of the jet’s arrival.

The 787 was delayed more than three years, and the latest landing in Tokyo signals that it is finally ready for deployment.

The next-generation two-engine jet is constructed of mostly carbon fiber and other composite materials—the first civilian plane of such a nature in production—making it lighter than current jets as well as being more fuel-efficient. Given today’s high fuel prices, the 787 jetliner is popular with global airlines.

The Chicago-based Boeing currently has about 835 firm orders, with 55 going to its launch customer, Tokyo-based ANA. The company said it expects to receive 14 of the 55 jets in 2011.

“ANA is proud to be the first airline in the world that will operate the 787," said Shinichiro Ito, ANA president and CEO, in a statement. "The Dreamliner is an integral part of our plans to become Asia’s number one airline.”

ANA, one of Asia’s largest carriers, saw its domestic demand drop by more than 20 percent in April, following the massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake, which hit Japan in March 2011.

At last month’s Paris Air Show, ANA Vice President Shuichi Fujimura noted that the first commercial deliveries of 787 would occur some time in August or September of this year.

Not to be outdone, Boeing’s chief global competitor, Airbus, plans to launch its future wide-body jet, the A350, some time in 2013. Its launch customer is Qatar Airways.

The A350 has a similar material construction as the 787, and Airbus has more than 600 firm orders for the jet.

Airbus, as of last month, also claims to have more than 600 orders for the A320neo, which is supposedly 15 percent more fuel efficient than the current generation of Boeing 737 jets.

 

Frank Yu