The aircraft, which will soon become the first 787-9 in commercial operation, rolled out of Boeing’s paint hangar on Saturday evening 5th April (Pacific Standard Time) and will join the Air New Zealand fleet mid this year.
The 787-9 is the first Air New Zealand aircraft to feature the distinctive black version of the airline’s new-look livery. The white version of the livery has been gradually rolled out across the airline’s A320 domestic fleet in recent months.
Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan, who was in Seattle for the unveiling, says it’s exciting to see the 787-9 in Air New Zealand colours for the first time.
“It’s great to see the Koru and the beautiful New Zealand fern emblazoned on this aircraft. This will soon be the first 787-9 aircraft anywhere in the world to operate commercially and I think it will instil a sense of pride in Kiwis and turn heads when it touches down at airports throughout Asia and the Pacific.”
The paint job took five days to complete and was done by 12 painters using around 350 litres of paint.
“With the unveiling of this beautiful airplane and our continued progress in flight test, this is an exciting time for the entire 787-9 team,” says Mark Jenks, Vice President, 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
“We look forward to delivering the first 787-9 to Air New Zealand.”
Air New Zealand’s new livery features the New Zealand Fern Mark, the use of which is authorised by Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. While the majority of the airline’s fleet will eventually feature the white version of the design a limited number will feature this signature black version.
This aircraft is the first of ten 787-9 Dreamliners to join Air New Zealand’s fleet. Air New Zealand is the global launch customer for the 787-9 which is 20 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft it’s replacing. The 787-9 will operate the Auckland – Perth route from 15 October 2014 and to both Tokyo and Shanghai from November.