The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will touch down in New Zealand on Saturday, as part of a week-long tour Down Under. The new aircraft arrives at Auckland International Airport at approximately 10am tomorrow, following a non-stop flight from Seattle’s Boeing Field Airport. It will be based at Auckland until Tuesday 15 November, when it will depart for Sydney for a VIP event to mark Qantas’ 91st birthday.
The new aircraft, which is the first major passenger plane to be constructed using lighter composite materials, has been hailed as a “hub buster”, able to serve direct routes that were previously considered uneconomical. This ability is especially attractive to Australian and New Zealand carriers, which are forced to operate long-haul routes from their remote locations. United Airlines has already suggested that it will use the Dreamliner to start direct flights between Auckland and Houston.
Air New Zealand has ordered eight of the larger 787-9 Dreamliner model, while Qantas and Jetstar have placed a huge order for 50 Dreamliners – 15 787-8s and 35 787-9s. In total, Boeing has racked up 821 Dreamliner orders from at least 56 customers.