Air New Zealand first airline to take delivery of Boeing 787-9

SEATTLE — Air New Zealand became the first airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787-9 at an event attended by the world’s media this week.

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 near Seattle.

Air New Zealand’s first 787-9 is in the airline’s distinctive black livery and departed for Auckland, New Zealand, after it was displayed to international media and travel trade partners.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says 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. The 787-9 is a real game changer and we can’t wait for our customers to experience it.”

This aircraft is the first of 10 787-9 Dreamliners to join Air New Zealand’s fleet. The aircraft will operate the Auckland-Perth route from Oct. 15 2014 and to Shanghai and Tokyo later this year.