This aircraft, which will soon become the first 787-9 in commercial operation, rolled out of the Boeing paint hangar on Saturday evening 5th April (Pacific Standard Time) and is due to join the Air New Zealand fleet in mid 2014. Even with only two colours this paint job took five days to complete and was carried out by 12 painters using around 350 litres of paint.
It is the first Air New Zealand aircraft to feature the distinctive black version of the airline’s new-look livery. Their white version of the livery has been gradually rolled out across the airline’s Airbus A320 domestic fleet over the past few months months. While the majority of Air New Zealand‘s fleet will eventually feature the white version, a limited number will feature the signature black version.
Air New Zealand’s new livery features the New Zealand Fern Mark, the use of which is authorised by Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan, who was in Seattle for the unveiling, says it’s exciting to see the new 787-9 in Air New Zealand colours for the first time.
“It’s great to see the Koru and the beautiful New Zealand fern emblazoned on this aircraft. This will soon be the first 787-9 aircraft anywhere in the world to operate commercially and I think it will instil a sense of pride in Kiwis and turn heads when it touches down at airports throughout Asia and the Pacific.”
“With the unveiling of this beautiful airplane and our continued progress in flight test, this is an exciting time for the entire 787-9 team,” says Mark Jenks, Vice President, 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
“We look forward to delivering the first 787-9 to Air New Zealand.”
This aircraft is the first of ten 787-9 Dreamliners that will join the Air New Zealand fleet. The airline is the global launch customer for the 787-9 which is 20 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft it’s replacing. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 m) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 km). Inside the cabin still offers passengers large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
The plan is to operate the 787-9 on the Auckland – Perth route from 15th October and to both Tokyo and Shanghai from November.