Air New Zealand’s new 787-9 takes flight


787-9 ANZ #169-ZB003Wishing desperately I was in Seattle this week when  Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 787-9 took off  from Paine Field airport north of Seattle for a three hour and ten minute flight. It reached an altitude of 11,800 metres (39,000 feet) and an airspeed of 360 knots during its  B1 test flight during which the two pilots throughly checked all systems to ensure performance while simultaneously checking  full cabin functionality of every aspect of the cabin is tested in-flight.

Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Boeing 787-9 and this aircraft (tail registration ZK-NZE) is the first of ten of the stretch dreamliner. This plane in its distinctive “All-Black” colours will start flying from Auckland to Perth in October.  Then Christchurch, Shanghai and Tokyo will be added by the end of 2014. The other dreamliners colour scheme will be in the new black and white scheme which the whole Air New Zealand fleet is moving to. The design incorporates the iconic New Zealand “fernmark” logo.

The plane’s 302 passengers will be accommodated in a three class layout:

  • 18 “herringbone” Business Class seats with ‘memory foam’ mattress, quilt and two full size pillows.- all passengers have aisle access
  • 21 premium economy seats (41” pitch and 19.3″ width) arranged 2-3-2 – the airline has dropped its Spaceseat in favour of a “Business Lite option”
  • 263 economy seats in a 3-3-3 layout with 31-32″ pitch except in 14 ” Skycouch” rows which have 33″ pitch and legrests plus armrests  which flip all the way up to create a 152cm (5 foot) long “sofa-like”  flat surface.

 skycouch sq-lh-787-9-economy-skycouch-mum-kids-sleeping-865x463

Air New Zealand is a four star rated airline with Skytrax and my fourth favourite airline (after Qatar, Emirates and Cathay Pacific!).

Air New Zealand information on their Dreamliner here and an amazing time-lapse video of the Air New Zealand’s 787 under construction is here.

My 787 pinterest archive here.


Related Posts

Pics from over New Zealand

Stunning landing in Queenstown

Trip Report: Perfection 777th flight on an NZ B777





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  1. AWESOME!!!!! I’m planning to go to NZ next year and hope I can fly on this sexy black bird! 😉 Are you planning to fly it next year?

  2. Worst colors since the SW design nightmare was implemented. Looks like a bad Aeromexico design.

  3. @Jason – You do understand why it is black don’t you?
    And what the emblems are about? I guess more Euro White is your preference?

  4. Joey, I want to do a 787 run next year -crossing off as many airlines’ dreamliners as I can

  5. This All Black 787-9 Dreamliner is one of the best things to happen to the Air New Zealand Customer. Being the launch customer of this aircraft is very rewarding for the airline and has boosted itself in the global market. I would love to fly this plane; such innovation in flight…

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