Xiamen’s first Boeing 787 conducting test flights at Paine Field – Photo: The Boeing Company
On Friday, another airline took delivery of their first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner; Xiamen Airlines.
This event was special for the airline, since the 787 is the first wide-body to join their fleet. The airline currently operates Boeing 737-700s, 737-800s and 757-200s.
“We are excited to receive our first 787 Dreamliner, which is also the first widebody airplane of our all-Boeing fleet,” said Che Shanglun, president and chairman of Xiamen Airlines. “With the innovative technology and exceptional efficiency, the 787 Dreamliner will be key to our further growth and international expansion.”
The 787 is part of the airline’s plan to grow their fleet to 150 airplanes. On top of the 787, they also have over 65 737-800s, 30 737 MAX 8s, and six Comac ARJ21s on order.
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 and Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 – Photo: David Parker Brown
2013 is now well in our rear view mirrors as we speed along the runway of another year and it is time to look back. We have covered what we did during 2013 on AirlineReporter but what about looking at what our two favorite aircraft manufacturers did? 2013 were big years for both Boeing & Airbus on many levels, so let’s take a look at more detail of exactly what happened in the order & delivery world:
In 2013, the big air shows in Paris & Dubai flooded the order books of both manufacturers. Airbus and Boeing both had record-breaking years with 1,619 & 1,531 gross orders, respectively. The winner in this situation is obviously Airbus by a good margin; the types of orders look consistent too:
On Sunday of this week, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos made some pretty outrageous claims about the future of his company. Specifically, he said his goal is for Amazon Prime customers to receive parcels within half an hour of purchase.
Okay, so what? Ordinarily us Airline Reporters don’t really cover matters of delivery. We’re happy to talk about FedEx, UPS, and other cargo carriers that bring goods to integration centers and then, eventually, to customers. This, right here, is the future of delivery. Point-to-point, airborne, and unmanned.
The quadrocopter is not a new concept in the door-to-door delivery world. University students have toyed with the idea for such things as pizza delivery. This is the first attempt that I would call serious.
A walk-up bar in the premium cabin stocked with snacks and refreshments will be a first for any U.S. airline and adds another distinctive luxury feature to the 777-300ER. Photo from American Airlines.
Today, American Airlines took delivery of their first Boeing 777-300ER (aka 77W). They become the first airline in the US to take delivery of the highly successful and long range 300ER variant of the 777. At the time of posting, the aircraft has not taken off, but it is scheduled to head to Dallas/Forth Worth today (see FlightAware).
Normally when an airline takes delivery of a new aircraft, exterior photos are included with press releases, but not this time. Why? Because it is widely assumed that American will be showing off their new livery on their 77W and it is not completed yet.
This photo of American’s first 77W was taken by in October by James Hackney. The plane looked pretty much the same (without livery) at their delivery flight earlier today.
There is no public timeline when the 777 will see its livery, but I can assume it will happen before the end of January, since the airline plans to operate the aircraft from Dallas/Fort Worth to Sao Paulo starting on January 31, 2013.
According to American’s press release: “American’s 777-300ER, delivered today without the traditional American livery, marks the beginning of the airline’s brand new fleet type and points toward the airline’s future.” The release also states, “The modern new aircraft will feature a freshly painted livery on the outside.” The big question is what will this livery look like? And when can we see it?
Every first class seat will feature individual 110-volt AC power outlets and USB jacks for charging personal electronic devices. Photo from American Airlines.
American’s 777-300ER is set up with three classes. Both Business and First have lie-flat seats. The plane will offer Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as a Panasonic entertainment system with 120 movies, 150 TV options and 350 audio selections available in all classes. Every seat will also include a 110-volt AC power and USB outlets.
“This marks an important milestone in our fleet renewal program and is another tangible example of our progress in building the new American for our customers and our people,” said Bella Goren, American’s chief financial officer. “This aircraft will provide our customers with a new level of comfort and convenience, along with delivering increased efficiency and better operating economics.”
The cabin is configured with three classes, featuring lie-flat seats in First and Business Class. Photo from American Airlines.
American is expecting to receive a second 777-300ERs in 2012 and the remaining eight in 2013. The airline plans to operate the new planes to London Heathrow, New York’s John F. Kennedy and Los Angeles after additional deliveries.
Even though there is a strong possibility that US Airways and American Airlines will merge in the future… this is not slowing American down. They are moving full steam ahead out of bankruptcy and it appears they hope to survive as their own airline.
This story written by…David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder.David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.
Jeff Smisek, president and CEO of United, said, “As the North American launch customer, we are delighted to be getting our first 787 Dreamliner. As we continue to build the world’s leading airline, we are excited for our customers and co-workers to experience this game-changing aircraft.”
Oddly, the 787 will depart from Boeing Field (which is located south of Seattle), where most delivery flights for the 747, 767, 777 and 787 leave from Paine Field. Each airline has the option to decide how they will take delivery. Some do it very quietly and others throw a huge party. I would suspect that United would want to throw a huge party, but no word on what that might look like — yet.
Infographic on the 787 Dreamliner by United Airlines (CLICK FOR LARGER).
After arriving in Houston, the 787 and crew will go through a month-long training and certification program. The airline will also be flying the aircraft (without passengers) to some of their hubs to show it off.
“This 787 delivery represents the continuation in the more than 80-year partnership between our two companies,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “United now begins a new chapter with the 787 Dreamliner, the most technologically advanced commercial jetliner ever built. It reinforces United’s commitment to be the world’s leading airline by providing unmatched fuel efficiency and passenger comfort.”
Currently, ANA, JAL and Ethiopian are the only airlines with 787s in service. LAN has taken delivery of their first one, but have not yet put it into service. It is exciting to see an American airline take delivery and soon enter this next generation aircraft into service.