Over the next two weeks, the 787 will add four new destinations, including its first international long-haul route, aided by a growing number of deliveries from Boeing.
The 787's first two and a half months in service have provided a light trial with a only four daily flights with two aircraft and a combined 325min of flying between the Haneda Airport in the Japanese capital and Hiroshima and Okayama. Those light operations have yielded a 96.3% dispatch reliability, compared to 96.5% for ANA's total operations.
The only deviation of note during the first months of service was the November 6 incident in which the landing gear failed to deploy on the first attempt while on approach to Okayama.
As Boeing and ANA have closely tended to the first two 787s, the expansion of 787 services will provide the aircraft's first major test.
UPDATE 4:42 PM ET: A PianoX performance analysis of the deployment the 787 on these regional routes indicates that the inherent nature of the aircraft's long-range configuration means ANA is far from yielding the benefits of Boeing's touted 20% improvement in fuel efficiency over the 767.
The B787-8 is used by ANA in domestic and regional service over distances of 300 to 1200 nm (HND-OKJ, HND-PEK). Such usage is ill-matched to intrinsic design-sizing considerations for this aircraft. For example, when carrying 25 tonnes over 1000 nm the B787-8 burns approximately 10.6 tonnes of fuel (and more for early deliveries with acknowledged performance shortfalls). In contrast, a B757-300W is better sized to carry the same payload over the same distance, burning merely 8.6 tonnes despite its senescence, albeit at economy-class comfort levels (no deterioration, best engine option). The B767-300ERW burns 10.3 tonnes under the same circumstances. The factual significance and operational reality of such (counter-expectational) mission-specific fuel burns can appear negated or reversed through contrived definitions of efficiency metrics based on point conditions.
Further, the analysis suggests that on the coming long-range route to Frankfurt, ANA will only yield a 1.2% fuel burn advantage with the 787 compared to a new 767-300ER with winglets.
The coming expansion is aided by recent deliveries to the airline, including the December 30 handover of Airplane 31, the first 158-seat long-haul configured aircraft and the January 12 delivery of the fourth, Airplane 41. The fifth delivery, Airplane 9, likely taking place today, says a program source, will expand the 264-seat regionally configured fleet to four aircraft.
The airline will begin its first international service between Haneda and Beijing on 14 January, followed by services on 17 and 18 January and its first long-haul flight between Tokyo Narita airport and Frankfurt, Germany on 21 January.Domestic operations are set to expand on the Okayama and Hiroshima routes on 13 January, moving from one to two flights per day.ANA will begin Haneda flights to Yamaguchi Ube and Itami (Osaka) from 23 January.After the commencement of its 2012 fiscal year on 1 April, ANA will add Haneda to Matuyama and Narita to Seattle and San Jose, California.
The Beijing route will be initially operated with a international long-haul configuration on January 14, 17 and 18 before moving to the Frankfurt flight, which will be flown daily with 787 as of March 1, alternating between 777-200ER and 787 service from January 21 after delivery delays in November and December slowed the introduction.