Air New Zealand will host the Boeing 787-8 test aircraft at its engineering base at Auckland International Airport for two days. Exact timings of the 787's arrival on Saturday 12 November non-stop from Seattle will be confirmed in the coming weeks, but will be timed to give Aucklanders the best chance of seeing the aircraft as it flies into Auckland.

"We're looking forward to seeing the 787 in our skies for the first time. This is an aircraft which has the exciting environmental advantage of using up to 20 percent less fuel while also being able to carry up to 50 percent more cargo than other jet aircraft of comparative size," says Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe.

Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the larger 787-9 variant, which will have a greater range capability and seating capacity than the 787-8.

"Once the 787-9 goes into service sometime in 2014 it will change how New Zealanders fly and how we bring the world to New Zealand. Its composite structure enables better cabin humidity and lower relative cabin altitude for a more comfortable flying experience," Mr Fyfe said.

The aircraft on display in Auckland will be one of the first test aircraft produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes and as such is fitted with test equipment.

Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager for the 787 program at Boeing Commercial Airplanes said, "We are thrilled to be able to bring this test plane down here for Air New Zealand. While the interior is filled with test equipment and therefore far from showroom standard, the exterior is not only aerodynamically efficient but extremely beautiful and people will be able to see just how different it looks."

Branded the "Dreamliner" by Boeing, the structure of the 787 aircraft makes significant use of lightweight high-tech composite materials to deliver operating efficiencies and customer comfort, including higher humidity levels and a more comfortable, lower cabin altitude.


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Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320