Air New Zealand Receives First Ever Boeing Dreamliner 787-9

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | July 11, 2014 1:52 PM EST

Air New Zealand has received a new plane on Friday, and it's no less than the first ever Boeing Dreamliner 787-9.

The airliner is expected to touch down at Auckland International Airport this afternoon between 4.00 and 4.30pm.

The Rolls-Royce powered, fuel-efficient passenger plane was unveiled at the Future of Flight museum near Seattle on Thursday before hundreds of aviation enthusiasts.

Air New Zealand's latest air carrier was painted in black with the iconic silver fern breaking up the uniformity on its tail.

Rob McDonald, the carrier's chief financial officer, said the new 787-9 will be used on Air New Zealand's flights to Shanghai and Tokyo. It is scheduled to enter the service on Oct 15.

McDonald added the airplane will likewise be offered on other routes, but did not give details.

"There is a lot of learning for the company on how we operate an aircraft like this," he said, talking of the Dreamliner's stretch version. "It is very different from what we are used to."

Measuring 20 feet longer, Boeing's 787-9 can carry 40 additional passengers and fly an additional 450 nautical miles versus its current 787-8 model. The 787-8 carries 210 to 250 passengers, while the 787-9 can accommodate 250 to 290.

Mark Jenks, Boeing Vice President, said Air New Zealand worked closely with Boeing while the plane was being created, getting particular on the jet's interior, from the seating arrangements to USB ports for passengers' electronic devices.

"We involved them (Air New Zealand) very early," Jenks said. "Having them there was really fantastic from the development perspective."

Air New Zealand's Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 has four different seating sectors: Business Premier, Premium Economy, Economy Skycouch and Economy. Each seat comes with a high-definition touch-screen entertainment device.

The Dreamliner utilses 20 per cent less fuel as well as creates 20 per cent fewer emissions than similar aircraft its size, Boeing said.

Photos of the first ever Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 can be seen here.

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