Air New Zealand will launch the first ever scheduled commercial flight of the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on the Auckland-Perth route, the carrier revealed today (7 November 2013).
The new extended version of the Dreamliner will enter service next year, with Air New Zealand as the launch customer. And the Auckland-based national carrier said it will initially deploy the fuel-efficient aircraft on its trans-Tasman route to Perth, as part of its alliance with Virgin Australia, before rolling it out to Tokyo and Shanghai.
Air New Zealand has ordered 10 B787-9 Dreamliners, and will configure them with 302 seats in three cabins – 18 flat-bed seats in business class, 21 seats in premium economy, and 263 in economy. The economy class cabin will also feature 14 ‘Skycouches’, which allows the row of three seats to be converted into a flat-bed.
Boeing has now sold 391 B787-9s, with the biggest airline customers being Etihad Airways (41 aircraft), ANA (30), American Airlines (30), Air France-KLM (25) and United Airline (24).