|Air New Zealand celebrates delivery of the Boeing 787-9 at a recent event near Seattle|
Air New Zealand became the first airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787-9 at a recent event near Seattle that was attended by media from around the world.
More than 1,000 Boeing employees joined the airline’s representatives, VIP guests and media from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, China and Japan to celebrate the handover of the aircraft at the Future of Flight museum.
American country music group The Band Perry made a surprise appearance and joined the celebrations.
Air New Zealand’s first 787-9 is in the airline's distinctive black livery and will depart for Auckland, New Zealand, in around 36 hours after it has been displayed to international media and travel trade partners.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said the delivery of the 787-9 is the start of an exciting new era for the airline.
“It's a privilege to be the global launch customer for this aircraft and our team is looking forward to flying it home to New Zealand," said Luxon at the event. "The 787-9 is a real game changer and we can’t wait for our customers to experience it."
The aircraft is scheduled to depart Paine Field, near Seattle on Thursday and is expected to arrive in Auckland late afternoon Friday. It is the first of ten 787-9 Dreamliners to join Air New Zealand's fleet. The aircraft will operate the Auckland - Perth route from October 15 and to Shanghai and Tokyo later this year. Another of Air New Zealand’s 787-9s will be displayed by Boeing at the Farnborough International Airshow later this month.