Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Business

Boeing's Dreamliner makes first commercial flight

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-26

Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner made its first commercial flight Wednesday, taking passengers on an All Nippon Airways flight from Tokyo's Narita airport to Hong Kong. The Dreamliner is the first mid-sized airplane capable of flying long-range routes.

AFP - Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner made its first commercial flight on Wednesday, giving a handful of deep-pocketed passengers the chance to fly into history on what is touted as an aviation breakthrough.

Carrying 252 people including corporate VIPs, aviation buffs and a large press pack, the All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight flew from Tokyo's Narita airport to Hong Kong, where it was met by lion dancing and a water-jet salute.

Wearing traditional Japanese jackets, ANA chief Shinichiro Ito and Boeing vice president Scott Fancher broke open barrels of sake and handed the wine to passengers before they all embarked at Narita.

Passenger Chris Sloan, 42, said the trip took on a party atmosphere.

"It was truly very memorable for me. After the day my kid was born and the day I was married, this is the most memorable experience in my life," said the aviation enthusiast from Miami after he arrived in Hong Kong on the three-and-a-half hour flight.

"I felt like I was part of history."

The lightweight, fuel-efficient 787 is the first mid-sized plane able to fly long-haul. But critics had said the project might never take off as its development ran years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

Painted in the blue and white ANA livery with red highlights, the first Dreamliner was finally delivered by Boeing on September 28, three years after it was originally promised to the plane's launch airline.

ANA auctioned six business-class seats for Wednesday's inaugural commercial flight. One sold for $34,000 -- around 13 times the price of a regular business-class ticket between Tokyo and Hong Kong.

The winner of the eBay auction was 48-year-old Miami businessman Gino Bertuccio, according to the Wall Street Journal, which said he had mistyped his maximum bid amount but was still thrilled to be on the flight.

The newspaper said another delighted passenger was Thomas Lee, a 59-year-old Californian executive who flew on the maiden commercial flights of the Boeing 747 in 1970 and the Airbus A380 superjumbo in 2007.

Touting the 787's green credentials, ANA said proceeds from the online auction would go to international environmental groups.

ANA also sold 100 economy-class seats as part of a tour package including one night at a hotel in Hong Kong for 78,700 yen ($1,000) per adult.

At travel agencies in Japan, a discount ANA return economy ticket on the route in late October costs around 45,000 yen.

Boeing says the twin-aisle 787's construction, partly from lightweight composite materials, means it consumes 20 percent less fuel than comparable planes, an attractive proposition for airlines facing soaring fuel costs.

The Chicago-based aerospace and defence giant has also been touting the larger windows, bigger luggage storage bins and improved cabin humidity than conventional jets, a factor it says will reduce traveller fatigue.

Hong Kong Airport Authority chief executive Stanley Hui said the Dreamliner marked "a new era of the aviation industry".

"It's an honour that ANA has chosen Hong Kong to be the first city to fly this beautifully designed and technically advanced aircraft," he said.

Production delays and technical mishaps cost Boeing billions of dollars in lost or cancelled orders for the Dreamliner, giving an edge to its fierce European rival Airbus.

ANA is planning to use the 787 on regular flights to Beijing and Frankfurt, as well as Hong Kong.

Boeing is hoping the Dreamliner will be a hit with passengers it says want more non-stop travel, and says it is already the fastest-selling twin-aisle airplane in aviation history, with more than 800 orders since 2004.

With an average list price of $202 million, the plane is the firm's first new design in more than a decade.
 

Date created : 2011-10-26

  • AVIATION

    Boeing delivers first Dreamliner after years of delays

    Read more

  • AEROSPACE

    American Airlines orders record number of passenger jets

    Read more

  • PARIS AIR SHOW

    Airbus, Israel join forces on new early warning aircraft

    Read more

COMMENT(S)