Korean Air has joined the growing list of airlines taking delivery of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Boeing has received 639 orders for aircraft, and 328 787-9 Dreamliners have been delivered to airlines around the world so far.
The airline will start by deploying the aircraft on domestic flights between the airline’s domestic hub at Gimpo Airport and JeJu Airport for one month as part of a mandatory certification process.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will then be deployed on long-haul routes favoured by leisure travelers from the airline’s international hub, Seoul’s Incheon International Airport.
The first travel destinations for the new aircraft will be Toronto, Ontario; Madrid, Spain; and Zurich, Switzerland. Launch dates have not yet been announced, but they are expected to be later this year.
Korean Air’s Boeing 787-9s are outfitted with a total of 269 seats: six seats in First Class, 18 seats in Prestige Class, a.k.a. Business Class; and 245 seats in economy, a.k.a. Cattle Class.
The Korean airline will introduce a total of five 787-9 Dreamliners to its fleet this year. Five more models will be added through 2019.
787-9 vs. 787-8
So what sets the Boeing 787-9 apart from the Boeing 787-8?
Both airliners have the same wingspan, but the 787-9 is 20 feet (6.1 metres) longer than the 787-8. It also has a higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW) than the 787-8.
The 787-9 can seat up to 280 passengers in a three-class configuration, flying up to 7,635 nautical miles (8,786 miles, or 14,140 kilometres).
The airliner is targeted at replacing the Boeing 767-400ER in competition with the Airbus A330 on long-haul routes.
And to clear up any confusion (or, perhaps, to add to the confusion), Boeing 787s are not being released in numerical order.
The Dreamliner was originally going to be called the 7E7 and was renamed the 787 in 2005. There were no 787-1s or 787-2s. A 787-3 was in the cards, but it was dropped.
The first variant of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was the 787-8, which was launched in 2009. A 787-10 is next in line. It will likely be launched in 2018.
So whatever happened to the 787-4, 787-5, 787-6, and 787-7?
The first airline to put the Boeing 787-9 into commercial service was All-Nippon Airways, which launched the technologically advanced aircraft on domestic Japanese routes in August 2014.
International routes were launched on 5 May 2015, when the Japanese airline deployed the aircraft on the Tokyo-Narita – Munich, Germany, route.
The airline’s 787-9s have 250 seats in a three-class configuration: Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy.
The Japanese air carrier was also the first airline to launch the original version of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, deploying it on the Tokyo-Narita – Hong Kong route on 26 October 2011.
Air Canada took delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on 31 July 2015. The Canadian air carrier first deployed the aircraft on the domestic Toronto – Vancouver route in August of that year.
Munich, Germany, and Milan, Italy, followed in October. New Delhi, India, and Dubai were added in November.
Air Canada’s Boeing 787-9 seat 298 passengers and have a range of 15,372 kilometres, compared with the Boeing 787-8, which is configured to carry 251 passengers with a range of 14,500 kilometres.
The first British Airways 787-9s arrived at the end of September 2015.The airline’s version of the aircraft can seat 216 passengers in a four-class configuration.
The main difference between British Airways’ 787-8s and 787-9s is the inclusion of the First Class cabin with just eight seats in comparison to the 14 seats available on the airline’s other long-haul aircraft, giving even more exclusivity and privacy to passengers.
There are 42 seats in Club World, 39 in World Traveller Plus, and 127 in World Traveller.
Air China was the first Chinese airlines to take delivery of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Hainan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines were next in line.
Chinese airlines have ordered close to 100 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at roughly US$4 billion.
“787-9 Dreamliner employs a multitude of cutting-edge technologies best represented by its electronic handling system and a wide application of composite materials,” says Captain Wang Yingnian, Chief Pilot of Air China.
“It enjoys clear advantages such as low consumption, low emission and low noise, which are highly aligned with the green flying idea that Air China has long been an advocate of.”
China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Juneyao Airlines have also ordered the technologically advanced jetliner.
“We are pleased to welcome Juneyao Airlines as a new Boeing customer,” says Rick Anderson, vice president of Sales, Northeast Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“This order is an endorsement of their confidence in the 787 Dreamliner, which is the first choice for many single-aisle operators to start wide-body operations.”
Orders and Deliveries
As of February 2017, Boeing had received orders for 639 787-9 Dreamliners and made 193 deliveries of the aircraft.
All-Nippon Airways had placed the largest order with 44 planes. Etihad Airways was second with 41, Qatar Airways was third with 30.
- All-Nippon Airways – 44 airplanes ordered
- Etihad Airways – 41 airplanes ordered
- Qatar Airways – 30 airplanes ordered
- Air Canada – 29 airplanes ordered
- United Airlines – 23 airplanes ordered
- American Airlines – 22 airplanes ordered
- Japan Airlines – 20 airplanes ordered
- Norwegian Air Shuttle – 19 airplanes ordered
- Air France – KLM – 18 airplanes ordered
- British Airways – 18 airplanes ordered
Deliveries tell a different story. ANA was first with 21 followed by United Airlines with 18, and Air Canada and British Airway with 16 airplanes each.
- All- Nippon Airways – 21 airplanes delivered
- United Airlines – 18 airplanes delivered
- Air Canada – 16 airplanes delivered
- British Airways – 16 airplanes delivered
- Virgin Airways – 13 airplanes delivered
- Etihad Airways – 12 airplanes delivered
- Air New Zealand – 9 airplanes delivered
- Air China – 8 airplanes delivered
- Vietnam Airlines – 7 airplanes delivered
- Japan Airlines – 7 airplanes delivered
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has been ordered by dozens of airlines around the world.
Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
Another variation of the 787, the Boeing 787-10 Dreamwliner, made its maiden flight on 31 March 2017.
The 787-10 is 18 feet, or 5.5 milometres, longer than the 787-9 . Singapore Airlines will be the launch carrier for the new aircraft.
In addition to Singapore Airlines, eight other airlines have ordered the technologically advanced airliner: All-Nippon Airways, British Airways, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, GE Capital Aviation Services, KLM Roual Dutch Airlines, and United Airlines.
Atoal of 149 planes have been ordered so far.