All Nippon Airways confirms Dreamliner launch date
After almost three years of delays, All Nippon Airways is inching ever closer to the launch of the new Boeing Dreamliner, confirming today the first passenger flight will take place on October 26th.
The flight, between Narita International Airport in Tokyo and Hong Kong, will be followed by scheduled domestic services to Okayama and Hiroshima, before international services to Beijing and Frankfurt begin in 2012.
Special excursion flights will also depart from and land at Narita on October 28th and 29th, allowing members of the press, aviation enthusiasts and local dignitaries to investigate the new aircraft.
The first Dreamliner is scheduled to be received by ANA in late September. The carrier recently revealed a celebratory livery for the first aircraft.
Boeing recently completed all flight tests required for type certification of the 787-8 Dreamliner with Rolls-Royce engines.
Dreamliner charter flight and excursion flights
ANA will operate a charter flight from Narita to Hong Kong on October 26th, returning the following day on October 27th.
This inaugural charter flight will be sold through package tours.
The timetable for the flight and other details will be announced at the dedicated 787 Dreamliner website.
From mid-September, premium package tours incorporating Business Class charter flights will be sold on a charity auction website.
Further details about the auction will be released in early September.
Package tours will be available to members of the ANA Mileage Club, with a lottery held to select the 100 lucky customers.
The package tours will be on sale from 10:00 on September 1st until 23:59 on September 11th.
Again, further details on the tour and the lottery will be available when sales start next month.
On November 1st, 2011, the Boeing 787 will start regular domestic services, first on the Haneda-Okayama route, and then later the same day, the Haneda-Hiroshima route.
By the end of this fiscal year, the aircraft will be successively used on routes connecting Haneda with Itami, Yamaguchi-Ube, and Matsuyama.
Haneda to Frankfurt
Launching in January next year, ANA will use the Dreamliner for a new overnight service connecting Haneda and Frankfurt.
Initially three flights a week - Monday, Thursday, Saturday - it is planned to operate the flights daily from February 2012.
This new route will be one of the Japan-Europe routes operated by the joint venture between ANA and Lufthansa German Airlines.
Ahead of the Haneda-Frankfurt service, the Boeing 787 will be installed on the Haneda-Beijing route in December, 2011, marking the aircraft’s first regular international service.
The Dreamliner will fly the route approximately once a week, until the Haneda-Frankfurt service starts the following month.
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