Air New Zealand, the launch customer, of the much awaited, and much delayed, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, in a statement announced
“Boeing confirmed yesterday a further 12 month delay could be expected with the first 787-9 aircraft to be delivered to Air New Zealand in the first quarter of 2013,”
Air New Zealand has eight 787-9 on order. Originally deliveries were expected to commence towards the end of 2010. Thanks to the various problems at Boeing, deliveries were delayed to early 2012, and now 2013.
Jon Ostrower of FlightBlogger, explains in an analysis of an internal Airbus dossier, the 787-9 is the killer application for the Dreamliner project. Many customers are expected to switch to, or order, 787-9’s.
On the positive side, Boeing’s maintenance plan, a key component of the Dreamliner’s economic positioning, has been approved by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Boeing has been promoting the 787 as
requiring less maintenance, less often than comparably sized jets, which allows the 787 to be more available for revenue service for airlines, leading to significant financial and scheduling opportunities for airlines.
In related airline news, Air New Zealand announced it will proceed with its bio-fuel test, along with Boeing, on December 30th, originally scheduled for December 3rd, but delayed due to the crash of its Airbus A320 off the coast of France.
As per the announcement
The two-hour test flight is scheduled to take off from Auckland airport on Tuesday morning 30 December, with the jatropha biofuel blend powering one of the Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400’s Rolls-Royce RB211 engines.
The pilot in command of the test flight is Air New Zealand 747 Fleet Manager Captain Keith Pattie. During the flight Captain Pattie and his crew will undertake a number of fuel tests confirming and measuring the performance of the engine and fuel systems at various altitudes and under a variety of operating conditions.
The test flight is a joint initiative between Air New Zealand, Boeing, Rolls-Royce and UOP, with support from Terasol Energy, as part of commercial aviation’s drive for more sustainable air travel for future generations.