Boeing has received final approval from US and European aviation regulators for its 787-9 Dreamliner to begin commercial flights, clearing the last hurdle ahead of delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand early next month.
The Kiwi carrier plans to roll out its all-black Boeing 787-9 on selected trans-Tasman proving flights in August/September, ahead of its debut as a daily Auckland-Perth service from October 15.
A larger and longer-range version of the original 787-8, the stretched Dreamliner represents a 'sweet spot' for many airlines needing extended flight range and higher passenger capacity than the 'dash 8'.
Boeing says that twenty-six customers have to date ordered some 413 787-9s, representing 40 percent of all 787 orders.
Other airlines lined up for the Boeing 787-9 include United, which will use the aircraft on a new direct Melbourne-Los Angeles route starting October 28; Scoot, with the first of 10 Boeing 787-9s due to start flying by year's end; and British Airways, which will add the 787-9 to its existing 787-8 fleet in 2015.
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