Boeing's long-awaited but oft-delayed 787 Dreamliner is ready to roll, with Japanese carrier ANA receiving the first of 14 of the next-generation jetliners in September.
Jetstar is also on the waiting list, with the Qantas-owned low-cost carrier aiming to begin 787 flights before the end of next year.
Qantas is splitting its massive 50-aircraft order for the fuel-efficient Dreamliner into 15 of the base model 787-8 for Jetstar, and 35 of the stretched 787-9 with slightly higher seating capacity for Qantas.
Like Jetstar, ANA's 787 Dreamliners -- the first of which will be decked out in the special livery shown above -- will sport a simple two-class configuration of business and economy.
However, in common with other Asian carriers, the ANA Dreamliner fleet will be divided into regional and international (or short-haul and long-haul) aircraft.
Here's the short range business class cabin, snapped in ANA's first 787 which left Boeing's paint hangar today. And we have to admit, for a cutting-edge aircraft this cabin looks decidedly dated.
The long-range Dreamliners will feature ANA's new staggered business class cabin which offers aisle access from every seat.
The staggered rows alternate between a 1-2-1 and a 1-1-1 seating configuration.
The seats themselves convert into fully flat beds, and each is fitted with a generous 17 inch video screen.
The regional fleet adopts ANA's 'business cradle' seat (not shown here) which have a smaller 12 video screen.
Boeing's 787 Sky Interior –- as also seen on late-model Boeing 737s including those purchased by Virgin Australia -- comes with LED lighting in the ceiling and sidewalls which can change colour to provide a warm golden hue in the mornings or evenings...
... with large overhead bins that can fit four roll-aboard suitcases side by side.
And now for two of our favourite and oh-so-Japanese features in ANA's Dreamliner.
First, the self-serve sake bar at the back of the business cabin.
And secondly, a thoroughly modern-looking loo, with a window...
... and a 'washlet' bidet spray built into the toilet bowl.
Meanwhile, down the back of the bus, the ANA 787 economy class has the same fixed-shell seat on both short-haul and long-haul flights. These are arrayed in conventional 2-4-2 layout.
Standard in every seat for every ANA Dreamliner is a universal AC power socket and USB ports, with an iPod jack added to the long-haul aircraft.
And these rows of seatback screens in economy class are crying out for some serious in-flight network gaming.
The economy seats have a fixed shell, and like Cathay Pacific's contentious economy seats both the rear and underside of the seat slide within the shell to provide something resembling a reclined or at least more angled position.
If you've got time, stick around to see this video. There's no music to go with it, so feel free to hum along or play whatever track takes your fancy (although Marilyn Manson's probably not going to be the best fit).
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.