Monday 9 July 2007
Today, Boeing unveiled the 787 Dreamliner during a one-hour ceremony at its Everett, Wash., final assembly facility, attended by nearly 15,000 employees, airline customers, supplier partners and government officials. Broadcast live via satellite worldwide and webcast, the event potentially reached 100 million or more viewers. The Boeing 787 is an all-new, technologically advanced and environmentally progressive airplane, scheduled to enter passenger service in May 2008 with Japan’s All Nippon Airways.
The first honorees at the event in a cavernous Boeing hangar, which was broadcast live on the Internet, were the 46 customers who have ordered the plane, including Air India (27) and Jet Airways (10).
The American manufacturer’s first new commercial model in 13 years is already a hit, with airlines around the world clamouring to get on the waiting list. With the aura of a rock concert, the twin-engine plane was wheeled out before a crowd of 15,000 at Boeing’s Everett, Wash., plant, in an event coinciding with the apropos date — 7-8-07. The unveiling was broadcast via satellite to millions of viewers, with retired newscaster Tom Brokaw serving as master of ceremonies.
Boeing has already taken orders for more than 600 of the eco-friendly flying machines, at up to $200 million each. Made of mostly lightweight carbon fibre, titanium and high-tech plastic, the 787 uses 20% less fuel than other planes and can fly non-stop from New York to Hong Kong on a tank of gas. Boeing says it’s gotten $100billion in orders so far. But the only U.S. airline to place an order is Continental. Japan’s All Nippon Airlines is slated to get the jet, seating between 210 to 330 passengers, in May.
Even Boeing’s main rival, Airbus, was impressed. «Even if tomorrow Airbus will get back to the business of competing vigorously, today is Boeing’s day», Louis Gallois. Airbus co-CEO, said in a letter yesterday to Boeing’s top brass.
In addition to being fuel efficient, the 787 offers bigger windows, vaulted ceilings and mood lighting that adjusts to time zones.