FURTHER UPDATE | ANA is seat to beat Air New Zealand to the punch with the world's first commercial Boeing 787-9 flight, just two days ahead of Air NZ's planned Dreamliner debut.
From August 7 2014, ANA's 395-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will progressively appear on routes between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Fukuoka, Osaka (Itami) and Matsuyama.
A typical day for the airline's newest bird looks like this:
- NH241: Tokyo (Haneda)-Fukuoka, 07:25-09:15
- NH248: Fukuoka-Tokyo (Haneda), 10:05-11:50
- NH25: Tokyo (Haneda)-Osaka (Itimi), 13:00-14:05
- NH30: Osaka (Itimi)-Tokyo (Haneda), 15:00-16:15
- NH595: Tokyo (Haneda)-Matsuyama, 17:15-18:40
- NH598: Matsuyama-Tokyo (Haneda), 19:30-21:00
The airline will focus the high-capacity aircraft on "major domestic routes to maximise passenger numbers", while in future relying on a more comfortable 215-seat version for longer international flights.
Those destinations are set to include Europe, North America and other "key destinations which are at present served by the smaller (Boeing) 787-8", or as a replacement for other large aircraft.
UPDATE | ANA is now the first airline to take the reins of both Dreamliner variants – the Boeing 787-8 and 787-9.
With the new acquisition, ANA has a total of 29 Boeing 787s in its fleet: more than any other Dreamliner operator in the world
The Boeing 787-9 leverages the original design of the 787-8 – offering passenger-pleasing features such as large windows, large overhead bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity and a lower cabin altitude.
ANA has 29 more Boeing 787-9s on order, with the option to accept 14 more.
PREVIOUS | Did ANA really snatch the trophy of the world's first commercial Boeing 787-9 flight from launch customer Air New Zealand?
It would seem not.
The Japanese airline overnight trumpeted its first Boeing 787-9 service would take place on August 4, carrying Japanese and American elementary school children living in Japan on a special flight from Tokyo's Haneda Airport over Mount Fuji.
That's barely one week after this stretched Dreamliner flies factory-fresh from Seattle to Tokyo, with ANA using its expertise as the first customer for the Boeing 787-8 to quickly get the 787-9 into the air.
But as Air New Zealand was fast to point out this morning, that ANA flight is a charter service, "not a revenue or commercial flight."
And the basis of putting paying passengers into seats the Kiwi carrier is still in the lead, with plans to roster a Boeing 787-9 on daily runs between Auckland and Sydney in early August.
This will of course be followed by the Dreamliner's official debut as a scheduled service on October 15 flying the Auckland-Perth route.
Additional reporting by Chris Chamberlin.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.