Dreamliner expected in NZ next year

By Owen Hembry

Boeing's hi-tech Dreamliner will fly New Zealand's skies from next year.

In May Auckland became the first route to be announced globally for the Dreamliner when Continental Airlines said it planned to start flying non-stop from Houston in the United States in November next year, subject to Government approval.

Qantas said this month it had reached agreement with Boeing to bring forward the delivery of eight B787-8 Dreamliner versions by about two years, with delivery from mid-2012 and the first aircraft to be used by Jetstar for international operations.

Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway said the airline was still to complete plans in terms of roll-out but New Zealand would have a high priority.

NZX-listed Air New Zealand will receive the 787-9 version of the Dreamliner in late 2013 - the date Boeing has said the first of that version would be delivered.

The Dreamliner made its international debut last week landing at Farnborough Airport in Britain.

Mike Sinnett, 787 vice-president and chief project engineer for Boeing Commercial, is enthusiastic.

"You'd be hard pressed to stand anywhere on a 787 and not have a dozen different improvements from today's airplanes within arm's reach," he said this week at the Farnborough airshow.

"The technology we've incorporated is working just like we knew it would."

Scott Fancher, vice-president and general manager of the 787 programme, said it took the expertise and dedication of thousands of individuals around the world to bring the 787 to Farnborough. "We're proud of the team and we're proud of the airplane we have created."

- NZ Herald

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