Air New Zealand’s New Baby: The Boeing 787-9


July 10, 2014


I had the privilege of attending the unveiling of the Boeing 787-9 to Air New Zealand yesterday at the Boeing plant, The Boeing Everett Assembly Factory, in Everett, Washington.


The 787-9 is a brand new aircraft that has been on order for years and Air NZ is the first airline to take delivery of the new 787.  Air NZ has ten of these 787 dreamliners joining its international fleet.  The first one for Air NZ was not only delivered yesterday, but will be flying its first flight today with top Air NZ execs, VIP’s, various New Zealand media and the cabin crew from Payne Field (Boeing’s runway) on a direct-flight to Auckland. 


Industry specialists were given a corporate tour of the Boeing assembly building (the largest building by volume in the world) – photo taking unfortunately was not allowed in this part of the event!


Just to give you a brief overview: The difference between the 787 aircraft and the 777 is that the 787 has a longer range than the 777 due to greater fuel efficiency (can fly just over 15,000 km), it has a capacity of over 240 passengers and crew depending on seating configuration, the flight contains 20% more moisture and it boasts a better pressure and air circulation system. 


In other words, flying on a 787 will feel more like a low-altitude flight rather than a high altitude flight in terms of effects on one’s body.  This is a great benefit for airline travel!


My favourite part: We got to explore the new plane!  Immediately upon entering, I noticed that it had that nice new-car smell!  I chatted with the some cabin and flight deck crew who were keen to show the features of the new aircraft.  I even got to see the pilot’s rest area up front and then I visited the far back to check out the crew rest area and a lovely new galley. 


The décor of this aircraft was beyond exceptional in all classes; Business Premier, Premium Economy, and Economy.  All seats are comfortable of course, with soft leather and ergonomic seat backs, complete with footrests and a sweet entertainment system.  In addition to the comfort, the cabin’s mood lighting sets the tone for your long journey and there are no window blinds either, in fact, a little touch button is in place for tinting the windows.


Written By: Jane (Destination Specialist)  


Often indicating that the South Pacific holds a special place in her heart, Jane has taken more than two-dozen trips to Australia, New Zealand, The Cook Islands and surrounding areas and she is certainly no stranger to long-distance travel and the importance of comfort and luxury on a long-haul flight.