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Virgin Atlantic used the occasion of its 30th birthday a few days ago (the airline flew its inaugural flight on June 22, 1984) to announce where it will be sending its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner when it joins the fleet this fall: Boston. Appropriately enough, the airplane will be called “Birthday Girl."
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Good news for fans of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner—like us—as the latest and greatest version of the airplane has been cleared to take to the skies.
Just the other day regulators and rule makers in both the United States and Europe gave the green light for the plane to continue on its way to the commercial skies. The approval has been granted to the bigger and badder version of the plane, as this one is the 787-9. It will be roughly 20 more feet in length when compared to its 787-8 sibling, and of course that means there’s room for a few more passengers as well.
So far there are 26 different airlines and aviation enthusiasts that have placed an order for this plane, and all in all Boeing is getting ready to deliver 413 of the new jets. Air New Zealand is scheduled to be the very first to fly the 787-9, and their plane should be reaching cruising altitude—complete with commercial passengers—before the year comes to an end.
[Photo: Midland Intl. Airport
[Photo: Midland Intl. Airport
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AA will be the second carrier in the United States to score a little Dreamliner action, and flight crew is already hard at work learning the ins and outs of the airplane. Depending on one’s experience, it can take anywhere from ten days to a month before getting the approval to move from the simulator into the real planes.
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Canada is psyched.
Why? Well, simply because they've finally received a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to call their very owntheir first 787 landed in Toronto on Sunday, fresh from Boeingand the campaign to promote it is one of the most endearing airline projects yet.
It begins with Air Canada's 787 slogan, "Everything You Dreamed Of," and continues to slick promises like, "All Jet. No Lag."
Beyond the snazzy photos of interiors and that icy blue livery, however, we're most in love with a touching video series introducing the aircraft with a sentimentality that's so delightfully Canadian.
Air Canada has 37 Dreamliners on order, and an incredible 15 of them will hit the skies come this autumn, with the full lot delivered by 2019.
In the above "Born to Fly" video, the experience of such a technologically advanced aircraft is paired with the journey of one Air Canada 787 First Officer to his spot in the right seat. With it, Air Canada is answering a question we always find ourselves asking those lucky enough to sit up front in a brand new airplane: "where did this passion of yours originate?"
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If you’re looking to catch a ride to Italy aboard a Boeing 787—you’re in luck—as a carrier from the country has signed on to lease a few of the new airplanes. The only catch is that you have probably never heard of the airline that plans to take these Dreamliner aircraft into the skies, or at least that was the case when we learned of things.
Neos is based over in Italy, and when it comes to a home base they operate many of their flights out of Milan-Malpensa. Most of their flights are geared towards the leisure market, so don’t expect nonstop flights New York or Chicago. Flights to the Caribbean, Middle East, and across the Mediterranean are some of their usual offerings.
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AeroMexico has had some 787s hanging out in their hangar for a little bit of time, and now they’re using them for some new options. The carrier sees the need for a little more demand on one route across the pond, so a Boeing 787-8 is coming to the rescue.
The planes are on their way to three weekly round-trip flights between Mexico City’s Aeropuerto Benito Juárez Internacional and London Heathrow Airport beginning this month, and it will remain that way throughout the summer. This will boost back and forth capacity by like 70 seats per flight, as the 787s replace some 767s on the Atlantic crossing.
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They’ve been working overtime up at the Boeing factory just outside of Seattle, as a few new Boeing 787-9s have been rolling off the assembly line. As we saw with Air New Zealand just last week, these planes are slightly longer Dreamliners, the latest type of next generation aircraft.
United also has a few of these on order, and their very first plane just appeared outside of the hangar for a sneak peek the other day. This is the airplane that’s scheduled to begin service on United's new nonstop route between Los Angeles and Melbourne—the one in Australia—a little later this year.
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It’s almost time for Air New Zealand to take to the skies with their very first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, but the closest we can get right now is admiring the new livery from afar.
You may recall that Air New Zealand announced that they’d be mixing up their paintjob with a couple different versions, and here's a preview of one, which retains the koru and New Zealand fern looks and logos.
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Of course it won't have the old stripes...
American is due to receive 42 total Dreamliners (12 787-8s and 30 787-9s) and the first delivery should happen in the fourth quarter of 2014. All we want for Christmas is the option to fly an American Airlines 787, truly.
These planes were first projected to arrive in 2012, but you know how the Dreamliner program met with delays? At least it's two years late, but not too late.
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After all the hype (and drama) with the introduction of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, this summer should see the arrival of another 787 sibling to the family, the 787-9. Like the long-wheelbase version to the existing 787-8, Air New Zealand will be the first to fly it, but Virgin Atlantic is hoping to get their hands on the first few of their order list too.
While the airline hasn’t formally announced launch routes yet, it did brainstorm possible destinations way back when the aircraft order was placed, before being hit with its years of production delays.
So what will it be? In addition to replacing older aircraft for routes in its existing network (we wouldn’t be surprised if it goes head to head with some of the choices British Airways has made), Virgin mentioned routes of London to cities like Bangkok, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver.
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Okay—we realize that we usually try to consolidate our new routes news, but we just couldn’t resist sharing this one sooner than later. It’s especially the case since it might just be a decent use of those United MileagePlus miles that you have been saving up for years and years—maybe even since the Continental days.
As you know United is a fan of the Boeing 787, and they’ve got a few of them on hand for some flying fun. Well the fun is about to go down under, as United has just loaded a new flight into their schedule. The carrier will be doing the nonstop thing between Los Angeles and Melbourne—in Australia—beginning this October.
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At this time last year, spotting a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the skies was quite the rare occurrence. But as the aircraft's teething problems have calmed and more tails roll off the factory floor, airlines are more eager than ever to welcome the efficient jet into the fold.
LAN became the first airline in the Americas to add 787s to their fleet, welcoming the aircraft back in early September 2012. United soon followed, with the title of first in North America that November. Since then, however, no other American airlines have picked up the keys to a Dreamliner.
Air Canada is about to break that dry spell as they prepare their hangars for 787s, to be delivered in spring 2014 and running test routes both domestic and transatlantic until summer. The initial regular routeToronto to Tel Avivcommences in July, 2014 and seats are already on sale, beginning at $1,400 roundtrip (we even found availability in all classes for July 1 on AC084).
[Update 8am December 6, 2013: Air Canada has just announced that also beginning July 1, 2014 will be nonstop flights on the 787 from Toronto to Tokyo-Haneda! This will be the only daytime flight from North American to Haneda, and the only nonstop from a Canadian airport to Haneda, which is a more convenient airport to downtown Tokyo than Narita.]
By 2019, the airline will have 37 total 787s in the skies (15 787-8 and 22 of the stretched 787-9s), so Toronto to Tel Aviv is only just the tip of the route map.