Boeing Co. has delivered the first extended version of its 787 Dreamliner.
Air New Zealand signed the purchase documents for the 787-9 passenger jet Monday, allowing Boeing to book the sale under its second-quarter finances.
The carrier told Reuters news service it will fly the jet to its home base in Auckland from the Seattle area July 10 and start offering long-haul commercial flights on the aircraft Oct. 15.
"Boeing is proud to have contractually delivered the first 787-9 Dreamliner to Air New Zealand. We look forward to celebrating the milestone with our customer soon," Boeing said in a written statement.
The planemaker began assembly of the "Dash-9" last year. Key parts are made at the company's North Charleston campus. For now, the jetliner is assembled only in Everett, Wash.
The first full assembly of the jet at the Boeing plant at Charleston International Airport is expected to begin in the fall.
The Dash 9 is a larger version of the 787-8 that's made in both North Charleston and Everett. Its fuselage is 20 feet longer, giving it the ability to haul more passengers and cargo. It also can fly farther and consume less fuel than similarly sized planes, according to Boeing.
Twenty-six customers have ordered 413 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.
Air New Zealand, originally was scheduled to take delivery of its first of 10 Dash 9s four years ago, but that was pushed back as Boeing revised the design of the aircraft while ironing out production glitches with the shorter 787-8.
The new version of the airplane was certified for commercial service in the United States and Europe in mid-June.
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