19 October 2011

Coming to Auckland soon... the Boeing 787

Boeing’s new 787-8 Dreamliner will make its first visit to New Zealand next month. The next generation airliner, the first to be built largely from carbon fibre, will fly direct to Auckland from Boeings Seattle facilities in the United States arriving on November 12. It will spend two days at Air New Zealand’s engineering base at Auckland International Airport. Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the larger 787-9 variant of the jet which will have a greater range. The first 787-8 was delivered to Japanese airline ANA last month, nearly three years late. The high tech aircraft promises to improve passenger comfort with higher cabin air pressure and humidity as well as much bigger windows but has been beset with production delays. Air New Zealand had been expected to take delivery of the first of eight aircraft it has ordered last year, but is now not expected to arrive till 2014. Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe has been severely critical of the Boeing for the delays of the plane which has severely impacted the airline’s fleet and growth strategies. The 787’s 20 per cent greater fuel efficiency would also have helped to partly offset record fuel prices. The test aircraft was fitted with testing equipment rather than a normal passenger cabin. The plane would not be opened to the public, but it would make a low pass over the city before landing.

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