My travel map for the USA… Could I tick an extra state off that list? – Image: TravBuddy.com
Each year I set some travel goals for myself; that way throughout all the craziness that may happen during the year, I have a guideline of the things I want to see or do. OshKosh was on my list, as well as my trip home to Australia back in April. I was able to complete those and needed some additional challenges.
I realized fairly late in the year, after returning from New Zealand, that I had left a goal off my list. Being new to living in the USA, I want to see more of this country that I now call home. I had set a goal to add at least one more state to my list of those visited (I was sitting at 42 and I decided that I wanted to make it to at least 43 by the new year).
My colleagues at Airline Reporter found out about this and thought they would have a bit of fun with it. I could check off a state, but I had to do it for less than $100 and make a whole weekend out of it. I accepted the challenge.
The 787 is not quite at Seattle — yet. Image from ANA.
On Wednesday, All Nippon Airways (ANA) started their inaugural service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) using a Boeing 777-300ER. Now, there is nothing wrong with the 777, but it was supposed to be using the 787 Dreamliner.
In the image above, the most interesting statement is the “Will introduce the Boeing 787 Drealiner on Seattle-Narita when it is ready.” The “it” in that statement is not the route — since it is more than ready for a 787. The “it” is talking about the Dreamliner that has not yet been delivered to ANA. For now, the airline is expecting to use the 777 until October 2012.
Earlier this year, the fifth 787 test aircraft, ZA005, made a quick visit to SEA, preparing the airport to start scheduled service for the Dreamliner.
ANA’s first Boeing 777-300ER arrives to SEA on July 25th to a water cannon salute. Courtesy Port of Seattle/Don Wilson.
When arriving for the first time, ANA’s Boeing 777-300ER was not only greeted by a water cannon salute by the airport’s fire department, but there was also a celebration in the terminal with a children’s taiko drumming group and a ceremonial sake cask-breaking.
“ANA’s decision to be here reinforces Seattle’s status as a global gateway,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Rob Holland. “Our mission is to create jobs by advancing trade and commerce, which in turn stimulates economic development. ANA will be another driver for this mission for the entire region.”
Port CEO Tay Yoshitani, Port of Seattle Commissioner Rob Holland, Washington State Govenor Christine Gregoire, ANA Senior Executive Vice President Keisuke Okada, ANA Senior Vice President, The Americas Yuji Hirako, General Manager, Seattle Toshio Nomura, all at the inaugural event. Courtesy Port of Seattle/Don Wilson.
ANA flight NH1077 leaves Seattle at 1:15pm each day and arrives to Narita at 3:45pm the next day. Flight NH1078 leaves Narita at 5:25pm and arrives to Seattle at 10:55am the same day (have to love arriving 6.5hrs before you left).
The initial Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is configured with a total of 247 seats (85 business class, 162 economy). ANA will configure their 787 on the route with 158 seats – 46 business class seats and 112 economy.
United Airlines, a Star Alliance partner of ANA, currently operates a daily flight from SEA to NRT using a Boeing 777-200 and it will be interesting to see if both airlines can be successful on the route. Previously, United Airlines has stated that they have, “No changes planned,” for their route.
ADDITIONAL STUFF ON ANA’S FIRST FLIGHT TO SEATTLE:
* Video of the water cannon salute
* B-Roll YouTube video of the event
* Washington Governor Christine Gregoire speaking at the event
Being based in Seattle, this is such a beautiful photo. Can't until this is a common sight. Photo by Don Wilson / Port of Seattle. Click for larger.
On Monday, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner (ZA005) made a special visit to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). The visit was to help prepare the airport and ground crews for future Dreamliner operations.
ZA005 was at SEA for about two hours completing a gate check, making sure the grew could operate the jet bridge, load cargo, plug in the aircraft and more.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) will be the first airline to start Dreamliner operations to and from Seattle later this fiscal year. Before then, they have announced their intention to start the flight to Narita (NRT) a bit earlier with a Boeing 777.
“We are delighted that we will be soon launching the Seattle-Tokyo service, our 7th gateway in the US,” ANA Seattle Office General Manager Toshio Nomura told AirlineReporter.com. “Originally, we had planned to operate this route with the Boeing 787 starting later this year, but felt that it is significant for us to come here, the home of Dreamliner, sooner and capture the summer demand. Because of that, we plan to use a 777 and transition to the 787 later in the year. ANA looks forward to having you on board to experience the high quality service we thrive upon.”
ZA005 taxis at Sea-Tac. Photo by Don Wilson / Port of Seattle. Click for larger.
Ground crew welcome the 787 to Sea-Tac. Photo by Don Wilson / Port of Seattle. Click for larger.
Ground crew practice loading cargo onto ZA005. Photo by Don Wilson / Port of Seattle. Click for larger.
N787FT sits at S-Terminal at SEA. Photo by Don Wilson / Port of Seattle. Click for larger.
Soon, it will be a common site seeing a Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking off from SEA. Photo by Don Wilson / Port of Seattle. Click for larger.