In what turned out to be a beautiful Monday morning in Vancouver, British Columbia, reporters and the Vancouver Airport Authority greeted the airport’s first scheduled 787 service with Japan Airlines.
The conditions couldnâ€™t have been any better for the carrierâ€™s first arrival with the aircraft, as the skies were clear when the pilots flared the nose and gracefully put the aircraft (JA823J) on the ground 15 minutes ahead of schedule, to the delight of many who have been working hard on bringing the 787 to YVR.
â€œThe Dreamliner is truly a game-changing aircraft, not only for its incredible passenger experience but also for the increased efficiencies it offers to airlines,â€ said Craig Richmond, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. â€œWeâ€™re thrilled to celebrate the exciting arrival of this revolutionary aircraft alongside out long-time business partner, Japan Airlines.â€
The flight was packed full with 186 passengers who embarked JAL 18 in Narita and became a part in the historic flight. The aircraft will be phased into the Vancouver market by only operating on Mondays initially, before going daily after March 30, 2014. While a water canon salute was planned for the arrival, with the temperature down to a chilling 0 degrees Celsius the airport didnâ€™t want to make the ramp an ice skating rink.
As the aircraft taxied past us, the one thing that many people kept commenting on was how quiet the plane is; it always surprises me how we forget about these small details when you have seen the aircraft so much, but for some of these people it was the first interaction with it.
JAL has configured its 787-8 Dreamliners with 42 business class seats and 144 economy seats in a 2-4-2 abreast configuration.
AirlineReporter.com got to step aboard and take a tour of the aircraft. This was actually my first time on the JAL 787 and one thing I noticed compared to when I got to fly on Unitedâ€™s recently is the wide-openness of the aircraft when you first step on board. Â High arched ceilings make it feel more like a building then an airplane. That is one thing I will really say Boeing did well with the design of the aircraft.
My other favorite part to getting onto the 787 is getting to look out those huge windows and then play with the dimmable shades. That is still the one feature that floors me, especially how the dimmable window gets super dark as if a shade was on it.
After walking through the aircraft, it was time for JAL to board it up and send it back to Narita full. YVR is also dubbing 2014 as the â€œYear of the Dreamliner,â€ as it expects several more 787 routes to get announced in the near future. China Southern is expected to be the next to bring the Dream to Vancouver.