"It's great to see the Koru and the beautiful New Zealand fern emblazoned on this aircraft. This will soon be the first 787-9 aircraft anywhere in the world to operate commercially and I think it will instill a sense of pride in Kiwis and turn heads when it touches down at airports throughout Asia and the Pacific," said Capt. David Morgan, Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer.
This 787-9 is the first airplane to feature the distinctive black version of Air New Zealand's new-look livery design, with the white version having been gradually rolled out across the airline's domestic fleet in recent months. While the majority of Air New Zealand's fleet will eventually feature the white version, a limited number will feature the signature black version.
"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," said Mark Jenks, vice president, 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We look forward to delivering the first 787-9 to Air New Zealand."
Air New Zealand plans to have the airplane begin service on its Auckland-Perth route later this year. Air New Zealand has 10 787-9s on order.
The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 m) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 km) with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes.
The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Twenty-six customers from around the world have ordered 405 787-9s, accounting for approximately 39 percent of all 787 orders.