Air New Zealand became the first airline to take delivery of the latest Boeing 787-9 at an event attended by the world’s media in the United States yesterday.
More than 1,000 Boeing employees joined the airline’s representatives, VIP guests and media from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, China and Japan to celebrate the handover of the aircraft at the Future of Flight museum near Seattle.
We’re not sure why but American country music group The Band Perry made a surprise appearance and joined the celebrations.
Air New Zealand’s first 787-9 is in the airline’s distinctive black livery and will depart for Auckland, New Zealand, in around 36 hours after it has been displayed to international media and travel trade partners.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon sees that the delivery of the 787-9 is the start of an exciting new era for the airline.
“It’s a privilege to be the global launch customer for this aircraft and our team is looking forward to flying it home to New Zealand. The 787-9 is a real game changer and we can’t wait for our customers to experience it,” says Mr Luxon.
The new aircraft is scheduled to depart Paine Field, near Seattle at 0700 Thursday 10th July (local time) and is expected to arrive in Auckland late afternoon Friday 11th July (NZ time).
This aircraft is the first of ten 787-9 Dreamliners to join Air New Zealand’s fleet. The aircraft will operate the Auckland – Perth route from 15th October 2014 and to Shanghai and Tokyo later this year.
You will be able to see another of the Air New Zealand 787-9 aircraft , displayed by Boeing, at the Farnborough International Airshow later this month.