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Dreamliner takes to skies on maiden flight

Dreamliner takes to skies on maiden flight

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has launched the first commercial flight of the Boeing Dreamliner, carrying passengers from Tokyo to Hong Kong.

The launch follows over three years of delays during the development of the new aircraft. 

Originally scheduled for delivery in 2008, the project was struck by a series of delays including an onboard fire during test flights.

However, the American aviation giant is hoping a successful launch for the new plane will dampen concerns.

The twin-aisle, mid-size plane features the largest windows of any commercial aircraft in operation, with higher cabin humidity and cleaner air, claimed Boeing.

The Dreamliner is also approximately 20 per cent light than comparable aircraft – due to the use of carbon fibre, rather than aluminium during construction. This makes the aircraft more fuel efficient, cutting costs for airlines.

ANA revealed the livery for the new plane in August this year.

Boeing plans to make ten of the planes a month from 2013.

However, delays have proved costly.

China Eastern Airlines cancelled orders for 24 Dreamliners last week. Monarch also recently cancelled an order for the aircraft.

Airbus has recently stepped up development of its rival A350 aircraft with the opening of a new manufacturing base in Wales, UK.