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Boeing's 787 Dreamliner: Who's Got It and Who Desperately Wants It

September 7, 2012 at 3:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

As we type this very sentence, Air India flies at cruising altitude on the long journey that will take their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner all the way from South Carolina to New Delhi.

And yet it seems like only yesterday we were perched atop the Future of Flight Center in Everett, WA, in the early morning cold and mist, as the absolute very first Dreamliner was delivered, to Japanese carrier ANA. In fairness it's been a solid year since then and while five airlines now boast Boeing 787s in their fleets, there's a whole slew more champing at the bit to get their mitts on the sleek plane.

Let's review who's got it and who wants it, shall we?

Who's Got It

· All Nippon Airways (Japan): You'll know it by the big "787" painted on the side and especially if you find yourself flying out of Tokyo anytime soon; ANA's Dreamliners are bright and numerous. The carrier has a solid 13 in service now, the benefit of being a launch customer with an eagerness to empty pockets for new planes.

· Japan Airlines: Trailing ANA is Japan Airlines with 5 Dreamliners thus far, though they've definitely had the least international fan fare. No special livery on these. Sad face.

· Ethiopian Airlines: One! Ethiopian has one Dreamliner and they barely got it just before LAN crashed the party. They've ordered a total of ten however, so Addis Ababa never sounded so good for a little #avgeek vacation.

· LAN Airlines (Chile): We were there and it was awesome. Chile is psyched for their new toy and they didn't hide these feelings at all. Tail number CC-BBA got such a rousing welcome that a glow-in-the-dark rave broke out on board the flight down to Santiago. Don't believe us? Check out AirlineReporter's proof.

· Air India: So much has been said about the Air India 787 dilemma that we're not going to add to it. The important thing it that they finally took home their first Dreamliner and put that notch on their bedpost.

Who Wants It

· United (USA): The favorite to take the next delivery, United's already got their sixth Dreamliner on the Final Assembly line. We saw it with our own eyes last week, and it is looking foine. Tentative routes for the UA 787 have already been announced, with lucky Houston seeing the majority of the action.

· Qatar Airways: Any minute now, an announcement could be made as to when the airline will fly their first 787 baby over to Doha. It's just sitting there for now, waiting for the "go" signal.

· China Southern: We saw it on the flightline in Everett and can confirm that China Southern's special livery is looking pretty slick. Now, just to get it up in the air and over to China.

· Air New Zealand: Casual fans of the 787 may not be aware that there are actually two variants of the Dreamliner being produced and sold. All that's on the tarmacs now is the 787-8, though in 2014, the stretched 787-9 will join in on the fun under the banner of AirNZ.

· LOT (Poland): While touring the Boeing factory, we spotted their second Dreamliner in final assembly.

· Hainan Airlines (China): Their first 787 was inside the Boeing factory as we strolled through.

· A ton others. For the latest statistics on who's ordered what and how many and with what engines, head over here. We've only included the most important and newsworthy, but all in all, the Dreamliner has racked up over 55 customers. Not bad for the little airplane that could. Not bad at all.

BELOW: In town for the LAN 787 Dreamliner delivery event just last week, we managed to spot a little Cliffs Notes version of the completed deliveries, in the form of airline tails posted to the inside of the door of the Final Assembly building. Imagine another ANA tail and a first Air India one there now for it to be accurate.

[Photos: Jaunted]

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