Browsing Tag: All Nippon Airways

The 1000th Boeing 767 looked gorgeous in her newly painted ANA livery.

The 1000th Boeing 767 (JA622A) looked gorgeous in her newly painted ANA livery.

Yesterday was quite the milestone for Boeing. About three weeks ago, Boeing invited folks to check out the 1000th Boeing 767 during final assembly. It was a small gathering of people to remember how much the 767 has done for the airline community and looking forward to a possible tanker deal. Yesterday’s event was quite a bit larger and really felt more like a celebration.

Even though the 1000th 767, in All Nippon Airways (ANA) livery, was center stage, the ceremony really honored the past, present and future of workers who have had an impact on the 767. Bus loads of retired Boeing employees, who at one time or another worked on the 767 line, were taken to the factory floor and as the ceremony progressed, current Boeing employees gathered from all around the factory to join in on the event. We were all treated to multiple professional videos showcasing the 767’s past and there was even a 767 song that was surprisingly catchy (trying to work on getting a copy of that still).

This also gave an opportunity to look at the recent 767 production line reconfigurations. While fancy lights shined on the 1000th 767, the much less popular 1001st Boeing 767 looked on.  Even though it didn’t get the attention it deserves, the 1001st aircraft will be the first to actually roll off the new 767 line. To create the new line, 8000 yards of concrete were removed, a building was partly cutdown, a new hangar door was installed and 767 tooling was moved around. It was quite the change and leaves the 767 a pathway from the rear of the factory to the front with just five feet of clearance in some areas.

During the event, Jim Albaugh, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, stated he was confident that the Boeing 767 would have a long life ahead of it, even if the tanker deal does not go through. “The 767 is still a very, very efficient airplane. In fact, from a trip standpoint, it’s the most-efficient twin-aisle airplane being manufactured (it’s also the smallest).” Albaugh continued, “And we have quite a number of customers we’re talking to right now about buying this airplane for commercial use. And I think we’ll be here, I hope, in another few years to be talking about the delivery of airplane 2,000.”

After the mood lights and crowd were gone, the plane still looked beautiful.

After the mood lights and crowd were gone, the 767 (JA622A)Â still looked beautiful.

This is not to say that Boeing doesn’t have every confidence that the 767 tanker will be chosen. “It’s the best airplane,” Albaugh said. “It’s an airplane that can put more booms in the sky. It’s an airplane that’s much more efficient to operate. It’s an airplane that can forward deploy to all the fields that the Air Force needs it to go to.”

After the ceremony, when Albaugh was asked how the older Boeing 767 will be able to effectively compete with the Airbus A330, he stated that the demand for wide body aircraft will be too great and with recent cost reductions in the aircraft, the 767 can will be a viable competitor. “We have figured out a way to take a lot of cost out of this airplane. And I think now that we’ve worked through that we’re going to have a very competitive offering going forward.” He also talked about the A320neo, the 777 replacement and outsourcing lessons learned on the 787. It’s all good information, but since Aubrey Cohen with the Seattle PI covered those parts so well, I don’t want to re-hash here.

Boeing has put a lot of time and money on the line for the future of the 767. I might not have the positive outlook for the 767’s future, if the tanker deal doesn’t go through, but I would imagine Boeing has looked how to convert the 767 line to produce 787’s if needed. Let’s hope one way or another it all pays off.

MORE GOODIES:
Of course you need more eye candy: here are 28 photos of the 1000th 767 event and a video from Boeing showcasing three generations on the 767.

It is interesting (at least to me) to see the different headlines that come from people attending the same event. I find it sort of refreshing. Here are some examples (all good reads btw):
* Boeing’s new 767 line ready to make Air Force tankers by Aubrey Cohen at Seattle PI
* Boeing rolls out 1,000th 767, but all eyes still on tanker deal by Glenn Farley at KING5
* Temporary 787 line in Everett could become more permanent by Michelle Dunlop with The Everett Herald
* Albaugh says Boeing’s 767 can still find customers by Dominic Gates with the Seattle Times
* Boeing Celebrates Completion of 1,000th 767 Jet by NYCAviation

Boeing's 1000th 767 (JA622A) that is in the final assembly stage in the Boeing Factory.

Boeing's 1000th 767 (JA622A) that is in the final assembly stage in the Boeing Factory.

Making just one aircraft is pretty darn impressive. Making 100 isn’t too shabby. But you know you have made it as an airliner if there have been a 1000 of your kind made. Although Boeing has made over 6600 Boeing 737’s, making 1000 767’s is nothing to sneeze at (wow, it would suck to be allergic to airplanes).

The 767 and 757 were designed together and were as close to siblings as airliners can get. They both have similar flight decks and handling abilities so that pilots could easily be cross-trained. The 767 was the first wide-bodied, twin-engine airliner that Boeing made and the first wide-bodied airliner to go to a 2-person flight deck crew. The first Boeing 767 took flight on September 26, 1981 and entered service with United airlines about a year later in September 1982. Since then the airplane has served many airlines well, but it might have always been a little jealous of its skinnier and more popular sibling, the 757.

When the last Boeing 757 was built in October 2004, there had been 1050 buit. For a while it seemed like the 757 would have been the more successful sister of the two aircraft as sales of the 767 have declined greatly over the past few years.

The 1000th Boeing 767 (JA622A) still have about a month til she will be delivered to ANA.

The 1000th Boeing 767 (JA622A) still have about a month til she will be delivered to ANA.

Currently, Boeing has delivered 995 Boeing 767’s and have another 50 on order. That means if the tanker deal doesn’t go through and no more aircraft are ordered, the 757 will go down in history with more aircraft built: 1050 vs 1045.

The Boeing 767 has remained in production for two major reasons: making it the next generation of military tanker and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner delays. Many airlines, including All Nippon Airways (ANA), were counting on the 787 Dreamliner to be completed long ago.  Boeing has worked with airlines to provide them with temporary Boeing 767-300ER’s. “A couple years ago we started having discussions about providing 767s on an interim basis to some Dreamliner buyers as well as other carriers looking for twin-aisle planes. We saw interest from all regions for both passenger airplanes and freighters,” Leslie Hazzard with Boeing 767 Communications explained to me.

Although Boeing does say they have made deals with airlines, they aren’t willing to speak financial specifics, “We don’t discuss the financing terms that were considered, but at the time we said publicly that any deal would involve long-term commitments and need to make good business sense for both the airlines needing the lift and for the Boeing organizations involved,” Hazzard stated.

So, why bring up the 1000th Boeing 767 again? On Monday Boeing invited a few folks out to take a look at the final assembly of the 1000th 767, which will have registration number JA622A. ANA hopes to take ownership of the aircraft sometime during the third or fourth week of February. The special 1000th 767 event was pretty interesting. Boeing executives spoke at a podium next to the plane and workers from around the factory started to gather around and listen. Once the event was done, the workers went right back to getting the 1000th 767 ready to fly.

Right now, Boeing is storing three 787 Dreamliners on the current 767 line. There were two ANA 787’s (one in white livery, another in full livery) and one Air India. Unfortunately we weren’t able to take photos of the 787 at that time, but it was very cool seeing how different the ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner parked right next to an ANA Boeing 767. The 767 is a wonderful aircraft that has served the world well and hopefully will continue to do so, but seeing it next to the 787, it is obvious that the Dreamliner is the next generation of airliner.

CHECK THIS STUFF OUT:
* 23 photos of the 1000th Boeing 767
* Story and video from Glenn Farley at KING5
* Story and photos from Aubrey Cohen at the Seattle PI
* Story from Michelle Dunlop on the Everett Herald

One of the benefits of world travel is plane spotting in different locations. Although spotting at Paine Field can be highly entertaining, it doesn’t compare to spotting at Tokyo’s Haneda airport which handles most of Tokyo’s domestic traffic. Sure, busy American airports like Atlanta sure see a lot of traffic, but it is mostly smaller aircraft like regional jets, MD-80’s and Boeing 767’s. At Haneda you are seeing much bigger aircraft like domestic Boeing 747-400’s with no winglets and plenty of 777s. Although Japan is only about the size of California, they fly very large aircraft on domestic routes due to demand and slots.

A few Boeing All Nippon Airways aircraft at Haneda Airport.

A few Boeing All Nippon Airways aircraft at Haneda Airport.

Haneda Airport had observation decks on all three terminals. During my recent trip to Haneda to check out the new International Terminal, I spent a good amount of my time enjoying the nice rainy outdoors (what a break from Seattle right?) and of course taking photos of aircraft I can’t always see in the US. I wanted to share some of my favorites and of course you can check out all 115 airline photos at Haneda via my Flickr page. I got onto the deck on Terminal 2 the very first thing in the morning at 6:30am local time when it opened. I had to wait for the guard to open the door and he looked at me oddly when I rushed out in the rain to check out the aircraft.  It was great to see all the large All Nippon Airways and Japan Air Line large aircraft waiting to be pulled to their gates (photo).

All Nippon Airways Boeing 747-400 (JA8956) in Pokemon Livery

All Nippon Airways Boeing 747-400 (JA8956) in Pokemon Livery

I knew that All Nippon Airways flies two Pokemon themed 747-400’s but seeing one in person is quite the scene. It was a little bit too much for me, but quite the interesting sight.

One of two observation decks at Terminal 2. Why can't the US have sweet decks like this?

One of two observation decks at Terminal 2. Why can't the US have sweet decks like this?

Haneda treats spotters with a lot of treats. Almost the entire roof on all three terminals have spotting decks. One side of Terminal 2 had comfortable seating and even a few restaurants. I wish more American airports treated airline spotters with such goodies.

ANA Boeing 747, 777, 737 and Q400 with ships in the background.

ANA Boeing 747, 777, 737 and Q400 with ships in the background.

Check out all the other fun photos.

Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner (VT-ANA) now out of the paint hangar at Paine Field.

Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner (VT-ANA) now out of the paint hangar at Paine Field. Photo from MoonM.

The newest livery on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner belongs to Air India and their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Found this fine photo (and there are a few others of this 787) on Jon Ostrower’s Flight Blogger website. Heck, this is a good time to take a look at all the current liveries seen on Boeing 787’s to date:

Royal Air Maroc Boeing 787 Dreamliner being stored next to the Future of Flight.

Royal Air Maroc Boeing 787 Dreamliner being stored next to the Future of Flight.

There are currently two JAL Boeing 787's also parked next to the Future of Flight.

There are currently two JAL Boeing 787's also parked next to the Future of Flight.

This Boeing 787 has the ANA tail, but the rest is all white. People are guessing ANA might have a special livery planned.

This Boeing 787 has the ANA tail, but the rest is all white. People are guessing ANA might have a special livery planned.

This is ZA002 which has been in the news recently. It was the first in ANA livery, but there are quite a few now lined up at Paine Field.

This is ZA002 which has been in the news recently. It was the first in ANA livery, but there are quite a few now lined up at Paine Field.

ZA005 was the first to have GE engines, but the third to sport Boeing's livery-lite. Photo from Liz Matzelle

ZA005 was the first to have GE engines, but the third to sport Boeing's livery-lite. Photo from Liz Matzelle

Ah, good 'ol ZA001 in full Boeing livery -- probably my favorite.

Ah, good 'ol ZA001 in full Boeing livery -- probably my favorite.

More should be on their way soon. If you cannot wait until then, check out Boeing’s website where you can preview what different liveries will look like on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. So looking at the liveries in the real and those on Boeing’s website, which one is our favorite? Which one is your least favorite? Mine? Well I have to say that Boeing’s full liver is my favorite and man, it is not easy to pick a least favorite, hmm…

ANA Boeing 777-300ER (JA781A) at Narita after my 11hr flight from LAX.

ANA Boeing 777-300ER (JA781A) at Narita after my 11hr flight from LAX.

Flying in any airline’s Business Class is always a nice treat. There are some airlines with pretty decent domestic Business Classes out there, but to really have a top-notch experience, you need to take an international flight. Recently, when I flew from Los Angeles (LAX) to Narita Airport (NRT) in Japan, I was able to fly in All Nippon Airway’s (ANA) Business Class (disclaimer: ANA picked up the tab on my flight from LAX-NRT-LAX).

The benefits of flying in a premium seat starts at the airport. After arriving at LAX from Seattle I checked in for ANA and then it was time to hit security. Having a premium seat meant I was able to use the express TSA line. It wasn’t too much of a benefit for this flight since the express line only had two people in it, and the normal line had five — oh well.

After taking off my shoes and having my toothpaste scanned, I headed right to ANA’s Business Lounge. Unfortunately due to a bunch of construction going on at LAX, the view wasn’t the best, but I was able to watch a Qantas Airbus A380 get towed, so I was happy. There was plenty of space, free wi-fi and all the amenities you would expect to find in a Business Class lounge. This was good, since I had a nice 3.5hr layover in LAX.

Lots of room to work, sleep and play in ANA's Business Class. Click for larger.

Lots of room to work, sleep and play in ANA's Business Class. Click for larger.

From the lounge I could see when my ANA Boeing 777-300ER arrived and I headed down to the gate. This is where I had another bonus: being able to board first. The Boeing 777 I flew had First Class, quite a bit of Business Class, Premium Economy and then of course standard economy. Getting on the plane first to get settled for a 11hr flight is always nice.

Where most airlines have a rule that you can still use your electronic devices until they close the cabin door, ANA is much more strict. When I first walked into the plane I was told I had to shut off my phone. I then I tried to take some photos, but was politely told I couldn’t have my camera on either until we reached 10,000 feet. Eh, lame, but what can I do?

The seats were very spacious; there was 63″ of seat pitch and 21″ of width. There were only 7 seats across in a 2-3-2 configuration and of course I went for a window seat (photo). Unfortunately my original seat was 11A which had a dead space with only one window. Luckily, after the plane boarded, I was able to move back to 12A with all my windows. This was important since the flight was leaving at about 1pm and we would be racing the sun all the way to Japan — meaning it was going to stay light the whole flight.

One of three appitizers for one of my three course meals. Yes that is a whole fish you see (and I ate it).

One of three appitizers for one of my three course meals. Yes that is a whole fish you see (and I ate it).

After take off the flight attendants came around asking what we would like for our first meal. Boy did we have good choices: two Japanese meals and one Western-style. I didn’t know what half the food was, but I went for seared bass (photo) and whatever else came with the Japanese meal. There was a lot, a whole three courses worth of food. The food was fabulous and not like airline-food fabulous, but actual food in a nice restaurant fabulous.

While eating, it was time to start watching the in-flight entertainment. Each person has their own screen that folds out of the seat with a handy controller. There were quite a few pre-programmed movies and shows which are all free (even in economy), but I think the entertainment option was a weak spot for ANA. In the long run getting satellite internet and live TV would be great, but ANA did work with Boeing’s Connexion that provided satellite internet, but that didn’t work out. I am hoping in the future ANA and more international airlines will be adding internet and live TV. For the short term maybe a few more movie and television choices would have been nice. After flying 22hrs in total (there and back) I was quite done with my movie selections and I was NOT about to watch Sex and the City 1 and 2.

Flying, blogging, drinking and watching a movie. What else do I need? (anyone guess that movie?).

Flying, blogging, drinking and watching a movie. What else do I need? (anyone guess that movie?).

The seats were very comfortable and were quite adjustable (photo). They don’t lie totally flat, but they came pretty darn close. Talking to folks who are a bit shorter (I am 6’1″), some said they have had issues sliding down on the seat, but I did not. I was actually able to fit on the seat comfortably and got some real sleep on both flights.

Not only was the product very good, but the service was wonderful as well. They would constantly check up on me and always had a smile. The flight attendant’s faces must have hurt after smiling so bit, non-stop for the entire 11 hour flight.

Although ANA’s “old” Business Class product I tried out was quite good, they are introducing a newer and better pod-style Business Class on their new Boeing 777-300ER’s.

All this great product and service comes at a price. A Business Class Seat on ANA from LAX to NRT can cost $4000.00 plus. Of course many folks flying in Business Class either have a corporate credit card paying or are using their miles. If the Business Class isn’t enough for you, ANA’s also has First Class on many of their international flights which is a whole other experience. No matter what class I am in, I am always excited to take a flight halfway around the world.

MORE PHOTOS OF THE FLIGHT