The Boeing 787-9 has been certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for commercial service.
The certification follows the completion of flight testing in May, and clears the way for the first 787-9 to be delivered and enter commercial service with Air New Zealand.
“Certification is the culmination of years of hard work and a rigorous flight-test program that started with the 787-9’s first flight last September,” Boeing President and CEO, Ray Conner said in a statement. “With this validation that the aircraft is ready for commercial operations, Boeing along with our airline and leasing customers now look forward to introducing the newest member of the Dreamliner family to passengers around the world.”
The certification of the 787-9 was a much smoother process than that of its 787-8 cousin which experienced numerous delays during its development. For the 787-9, Boeing used five test aircraft and flew more than 1,500 hours of test flights.
The 787-9 is a six metre stretch of the smaller 787-8, and it will carry an additional 40 passengers and more cargo over greater ranges than the smaller model.
Air New Zealand is expected to commence 787-9 commercial services on the Auckland-Perth route from October 15, while United Airlines says it will launch its 787-9 services from Los Angeles to Melbourne from October 28. Both airlines will operate the aircraft on route-proving flights and domestic services before commencing their long-haul operations.
To date, 26 airlines and lessors have ordered 413 787-9s which account for 40 per cent of all 787 orders.