All Nippon Airways (ANA) has set 7 August as the date it will begin operating the Boeing 787-9 aircraft on a regular, scheduled basis.

By firming up the launch date, ANA has beaten Air New Zealand (ANZ) to the honour of operating the type’s first flight by two days. ANZ had earlier told Flightglobal that it planned to operate the aircraft between Auckland and Sydney from 9 August, on a “surprise and delight basis.”

ANA will use the 787-9s on services from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka, Osaka Itami and Matsuyama, it says. In the next fiscal year, it will begin deploying the type on international services, which will replace the smaller 787-8s or larger sized aircraft.

The carrier’s 787-9s will have two types of configurations. The domestic configuration will have 395 seats, while those meant for international services will have 215 seats - 46 more seats than the existing 787-8s - now used internationally.

“The 787-9 is engineered for greater fuel economy than 787-8, while also ensuring approximately 20% more seating and cargo capacity and will help ANA [to] achieve expansion into new markets,” it adds.

ANA, which was the launch customer of the -8 in 2011, has orderered 80 787s. Of these 36 are -8s (with 28 already delivered) and 44 -9s.

Source: Cirium Dashboard