The first Boeing 787-9 for launch customer Air New Zealand has been rolled out of the paintshop at Boeing’s Everett factory in a stunning special all-black and silver fern livery.
The aircraft – which will be registered ZK-NZE – took five days to paint using 350 litres of paint, and will now enter a factory and customer pre-delivery ground and flight test phase before being delivered to the airline mid-year.
“It’s great to see the Koru and the beautiful New Zealand fern emblazoned on this aircraft,” Air NZ’s chief flight operations and safety officer, Captain David Morgan said. “This will soon be the first 787-9 aircraft anywhere in the world to operate commercially and I think it will instil a sense of pride in Kiwis and turn heads when it touches down at airports throughout Asia and the Pacific.”
Mark Jenks, Boeing’s vice president 787 Airplane Development added: “With the unveiling of this beautiful airplane and our continued progress in flight test, this is an exciting time for the entire 787-9 team. We look forward to delivering the first 787-9 to Air New Zealand.”
The 787-9 is more than three metres longer than the smaller 787-8, and is capable of carrying 40 more passengers in a typical layout. Air NZ has 10 787-9s on order, and its first commercial services will be seen on the Auckland to Perth route from October 15, and then to Tokyo and Shanghai from November.