MIAMI – Today in Aviation, All Nippon Airways (NH) introduced the wide-body Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ jet into passenger service in 2011.
The specially chartered flight, appropriately numbered NH7871, took off from Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) bound for Hong Kong International Airport (HKG). The service was flown by JA801A, the eighth Dreamliner off the production line.
ANA chose to auction a number of seats on the flight, with over 25,000 applicants registering interest in the round trip. The remaining passengers on board consisted of All Nippon frequent flyers and some of the airline’s executives, plus a number of journalists including Airways’ Chris Sloan.
A Family Affair
In command was Captain Yuichi Marui, NH’s Director of Boeing 787 Operations. Joining him on the flight deck was Captain Masami Tsukamoto. Meanwhile, in the cabin, Tsukamoto’s wife Midoriko Tsukamoto was Chief Purser and in charge of the nine other specially-selected Flight Attendants.
A traditional water cannon salute was given as JA801A made its way to NRT’s runway 34L for an on-time departure. Four hours and eight minutes later, the aircraft touched down at HKG’s runway 7L. A further water cannon salute greeted the jet as it taxied to the terminal. Here, further celebrations were held for the arriving passengers, including the ceremonial Wutan lion dance.
Scheduled services with the 787 began on November 1. Domestic rotations were flown from Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Okayama (OKJ) and Hiroshima (HIJ). International flights commenced in December from Tokyo to Beijing (PEK).
Today NH operates a total of 83 Boeing 787s consisting of all three variants the -8, -9, and -10.
Featured image: The next day the aircraft returned to Tokyo as flight NH7872 before operating a number of excursion flights. Photo: Chris Sloan