September 28th, 2011|
September 28, 2011
Around 500 aviation fans were on hand to welcome the first Boeing 787—dubbed the ‘Dreamliner’ by its manufacturer—as it touched down in Tokyo early on Wednesday as part of the All Nippon Airways fleet.
Reuters reports that some people even camped out at Haneda Airport the night before to make sure they would witness the historic aviation moment, which was marked by cheers and applause.
Why historic? In part, because the anticipation for the 787 has been building for three years as the plane’s debut has been repeatedly delayed by glitches and parts hold-ups. But also because the American-made aircraft is being lauded as the first plane designed for its passengers. This twin-engine, lightweight jetliner boasts overhead luggage compartments for each and every passenger, windows that can be electronically dimmed, bathrooms with bidets, and improved cabin air, among other amenities.
Boeing currently has a backlog of 821 orders for the plane.
“This aircraft is the fruit of many years’ and close cooperation between ANA and Boeing, and I am already seeing a big potential that this jet could change airline travel,” said pilot Hideaki Hayakawa to reporters on Wednesday.
Seats on the plane’s next flights have been hard to come by—with a specially chartered promotional flight to Hong Kong next month garnering more than 25,000 applications for the 100 seats made available to the public.
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