Boeing Sees Gains in the Dreamliner

The airliner is also the first to be designed from scratch since the hugely successful Boeing 777 in the early 1990s.

Already, the 787 has been the most successful new airliner in history with 28 airlines ordering more than 400 aircraft since April 2004 across three models, collectively worth more than US$55 billion.

The first 787-8 test flight is scheduled for August next year. Japanese airline All Nippon Airways will take delivery of the first jet in May 2008 as part of an order for 50.

Air New Zealand has ordered four of the larger and longer-range 787-9 model due for delivery from 2010. The airline has an option on a further 10.

Air New Zealand is counting on the 787 to open a host of new route possibilities, including India, South America and Canada.

Wellington International Airport is hoping the 787 will provide the capital with its first direct long-haul connection to Asia.

Boeing expects airlines will buy 3500 of the 787 or its Airbus A350 rival in he next 20 years.

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