A Japanese air carrier on Tuesday became the first airline to operate both available versions of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
All Nippon Airways took delivery of its first 787-9 in Everett, Wash., where the airplane is fully assembled.
Parts for the 787-9, a stretch variant of the 787-8 assembled in North Charleston, are made near Charleston International Airport. Starting this fall, the 787-9 will be fully pieced together in North Charleston.
ANA will launch 787-9 service on domestic Japanese routes in August.
"The 787 Dreamliner is a key element in our growth strategy, and we are proud to be the first airline to fly both models of the 787 family," said Osamu Shinobe, ANA president and CEO. "The new 787-9 will build on the exceptional efficiency of the 787-8 and will allow us to meet growing demand that is anticipated ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Our customers have expressed their pleasure with the comfort of the 787's innovative cabin features, and we are excited to introduce the new 787 variant into our fleet."
ANA now has 29 787s in its fleet, more than any other operator in the world.
"This milestone delivery adds yet another chapter in our long and successful relationship with ANA," said John Wojick, senior vice president of global sales and marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The 787-9 is 20 feet longer than the 787-8, carries 40 more passengers and flies 450 miles farther, using 20 percent less fuel and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes, according to Boeing.
ANA has 29 more 787-9s on order with commitments for 14 more. Sixty customers from around the world have ordered more than 1,000 787s, with more than 160 currently in operation.
Air New Zealand picked up the first 787-9 last month.
Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.
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