Boeing to Deliver First Dreamliner

Sept. 26, 2011
Now that the paperwork has been signed, Boeing is planning a two-day celebration, culminating with flyaway on Tuesday.

Japan's All Nippon Airways on Sunday signed a delivery contract for receipt of Boeing's first 787 Dreamliner, more than three years later than initially planned.

A ceremony marking completion of the deal is scheduled for Monday in Everett, Wash., where Boeing has its assembly facility.

Flyaway of the airplane to Tokyo is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:35 a.m. PDT from Paine Field.

ANA is the launch airline for the 787 program and has 55 of the aircraft on order.

Boeing had originally promised to roll out the aircraft in 2008, but a string of technical mishaps and delays have slowed testing programs for the jets.

The highly anticipated 787 Dreamliner is made out of lighter materials that help increase its fuel efficiency, while it boasts larger windows and more humid cabin air than conventional jets.

Boeing says this will allow passengers to arrive at their destinations more refreshed.

Shinichiro Ito, president and CEO of ANA Group, said last month the Dreamliner "will play an important role in our international expansion strategy as we seek to become Asia's No. 1 airline."

The mid-sized plane is key to Boeing's future. It is the maker's first new design in more than a decade, drawing on huge advances in aviation technology, and can fly long-haul routes using up to 20% less fuel.

Boeing, the world's second-biggest aircraft maker after Airbus, launched the Dreamliner program in April 2004 and initially had planned to deliver the first plane to ANA in the first half of 2008.

But the aircraft, which can seat up to 330 passengers, only made its maiden flight in December 2009.

The series of delays in the 787 program has cost Boeing billions of dollars as some airlines canceled their orders.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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