While the airline remains quiet on where it will deploy its first of 55 787-8s, All Nippon Airways plans to configure the new twin for both long and short-range missions.

Shuichi Fujimura, ANA senior vice president Europe Middle East and Africa and general manager, London, says that the long range configuration for international long haul will be feature three classes of first, business and economy seating, similar to the airline's 777-300ERs.

The carrier initially planned a four-class configuration on its 777-300ERs with the introduction of new first, business, economy and premium economy seating, but was later forced into a three-class configuration with Japanese seat-maker Koito under investigation for falsifying safety data.

Fujimura says the carrier also plans a "condensed configuration" for the domestic Japanese market, using the long-range -8 for short-range missions originally designed for the 787-3s, of which ANA had 28 on order until January.

ANA's 787-3 conversion zeroed the backlog, prompting Boeing to initiate a market study on the viability of the short to medium haul 787 variant. Boeing vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth said in February that the 787-8 was more efficient than the 787-3 on routes over 322km (200nm).

Fujimura declined to say how many passengers would be accommodated in either 787 configuration.

Additionally, Fujimora says the final decision on where the first 787s would fly has yet to be decided. ANA has previously said its first 787s would be placed on domestic routes at the beginning of 2011, later branching out to international destinations in China, Europe or North America in March.

Boeing plans to deliver the first 787 by yearend to ANA, however the airframer recently cautioned its first delivery could slip a few weeks into 2011.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news