Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Air New Zealand shows off stunning, all-black Dreamliner

By James Durston, CNN
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
Boeing handed over the first 787-9 Dreamliner to Air New Zealand on July 8, 2014. Boeing handed over the first 787-9 Dreamliner to Air New Zealand on July 8, 2014.
HIDE CAPTION
The 787-9 Dreamliner debut
All-black (nearly) edition
More passegers can fly further
Cargo improvements too
Assembling the first 787-9
A troubled first year in the air
The battery fix is tested
Passenger-friendly innovations
Learning to fly the 787
Dreamliner flight is cause for celebration
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Launch customer Air New Zealand took hold of the first 787-9 Dreamliner on July 8, 2014
  • Aircraft featured a dramatic, limited edition, nearly all-black livery
  • Flights will begin in October 2014 from Auckland to Perth, and then Auckland to Tokyo and Shanghai a month later

(CNN) -- A near all-black Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has been delivered to launch customer Air New Zealand, giving Boeing fans and aviation nerds a dramatic introduction to this latest model of the fuel-efficient plane.

The head-turning aircraft, sporting a special edition, mostly black livery, was handed over to the carrier in Everett, Washington, with around 1,000 Boeing employees and Air New Zealand executives attending.

"It's a big night for us all, seeing the plane come out of the hangar here," said Air New Zealand captain David Morgan. "I'm very excited to be able to get my hands on this aircraft and proudly fly it back to New Zealand."

MORE: Boeing 787 Dreamliner - Interactive explainer

Newer = bigger

The 787-9 is 20 feet longer than its predecessor, the 787-8, and can hold 40 more passengers.

It also has a greater range of 8,000-8,500 nautical miles, compared to the 787-8's range of 7,650-8,200.

"Obviously with their geography they're the perfect airline to really exercise this airplane -- they'll really be able to use the amazing performance that the 787-9 has," said Boeing's Mark Jenks, vice president, 787 Airplane Development.

The \
The "Skycouch," unique to Air New Zealand, where three seats join up to create a couch.

The manufacturer said it was on track to deliver 10 of the new planes to Air New Zealand by mid-year.

Twenty-six customers have ordered 409 787-9s to date, accounting for 40% of all 787 orders.

Due to a lighter, composite body, the plane can operate on 20% less fuel than other similar sized planes and offers design features such as larger, dimmable windows and in-cabin LED lighting.

MORE: What's it like to fly inside a Dreamliner?

Flight routes

Air New Zealand will begin operating its 787-9 in October 2014, flying from Auckland to Perth, Australia. In November it'll begin flights from Auckland to Tokyo and Shanghai.

The launch aircraft will offer 302 seats total, with the business premier cabin housing 18 lie-flat seats, a premium economy cabin with 21 seats and two economy cabins with 263 seats total.

The plane will also have 14 Skycouch rows -- a design unique to the Kiwi airline that turns a row of three economy seats into a three-seater "couch."

The plane will arrive in Auckland this Friday, July 11.

MORE: 16 stunning window seat photos

MORE: Making planes in the world's biggest building

Frances Cha contributed to this story.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:21 PM EDT, Thu July 10, 2014
It's not some miserable dystopic movie scene about class polarization.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
Latest model of aircraft affectionately known as the Queen of the Skies gets the red ribbon treatment, but jumbo jets are facing tough times
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
Aviation industry execs say they must focus more on customer experience.
updated 11:59 AM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Could air passengers of the future could board planes via personal transport pods?
updated 1:23 PM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
A passenger is suing an airline for flying him to the wrong continent, and other surprisingly common destination mix-ups.
updated 12:57 PM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
Dreading airport security, lost luggage or that middle seat? These travel headaches could be a thing of the past by 2024, according to a new report on the future of travel.
updated 4:00 AM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
Fancy stripping off before a flight and getting sweaty with fellow passengers? Finnair think you might and is backing its idea with a sauna in its new airport lounge.
updated 11:26 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
This month, a young aviatrix will honor the woman she was named after by flying the same route made legendary in 1937.
updated 1:58 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
Etihad Airways has come up with a product so outlandishly luxurious the world's jet setters are sure to notice.
updated 3:52 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
The Four Seasons luxury hotel group is entering the aviation game to fly guests on global tours.
updated 6:15 PM EST, Wed January 22, 2014
If you ever find yourself in the French city of Toulouse, you might just see one of the oddest-looking aircraft in the world.
updated 2:15 PM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Flight-phobics, relax -- a list of the world's safest airlines has just been released.
updated 5:02 AM EST, Thu December 19, 2013
The holiday travel crush is upon us.
updated 4:57 AM EDT, Fri October 18, 2013
Hairy airstrips ranging from the wildly remote to the shockingly short.
For 24 hours, we made the world's busiest airport our destination and found a world unto its own. Join us on our journey. What you see will surprise you.
updated 3:24 AM EDT, Thu September 5, 2013
Furniture, hotels and private homes. What visionaries are making with dead airplanes.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT