China to receive first Dreamliner

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China Southern Airlines will become the first airline to operate the B787 and A380
China Southern Airlines will become the first airline to operate the B787 and A380 (photo by Jordan Tan)

Boeing is on the verge of delivering its first Dreamliner to China.

China Southern Airlines is expecting to take delivery of its first Boeing 787 by the end of this month, a company executive has confirmed, marking the start of a series of deliveries to the country. The Guangzhou-based airline’s Chief Financial Officer, Xu Jiebo, disclosed this week that the new twin-aisle jet is expected to arrive at the city’s Baiyun International Airport before the end of May.

According to Marc Allen, president of Boeing China, China Southern’s first B787 aircraft is ready and waiting to be delivered from Boeing’s factory in Seattle, and will be flown to China once it receives written consent from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

After arriving in Guangzhou, the first B787 is initially expected to be put into operation on the key domestic routes from Baiyun airport to Beijing and Shanghai. But China Southern expects to take delivery of several more Dreamliners this year, and the new fuel-efficient jet will also be deployed on long-haul routes to destinations including London and Vancouver.

China Southern, which has ordered 10 Dreamliners, will be the first Chinese carrier to operate the aircraft, but it is likely to be followed shortly by Hainan Airlines, which has also ordered 10 B787s.

Boeing resumed Dreamliner deliveries last week when ANA’s 18th B787 touched down in Tokyo, and the US aircraft maker is now planning to quickly clear the backlog of new aircraft that had built up during the Dreamliner’s four-month grounding. As well as China Southern, Hainan Airlines and ANA, TUI, British Airways, Norwegian, JAL, Qatar Airways and Air India are all expecting to receive new Dreamliners in the coming weeks and months.

China Southern will also become the first airline in the world to operate both the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A380.

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