Dreamliner to launch new Tokyo-Frankfurt route

A new route between Tokyo's Haneda Airport has been chosen as the first long-haul international flight for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The much-anticipated aircraft will make its maiden flight on the route in January, in the livery of Japan's All Nippon Airways.

Air New Zealand is scheduled to receive the second batch of aircraft, while other clients include Aeroflot, Air India, British Airways and United Airlines.

The Dreamliner will be in its element in the long-distance route, although the regularly scheduled flight that leaves Haneda at 1 am and arrives in Frankfurt at 5:25 am local time will not be the first time the state-of-the-art jet will have been in commercial service.

ANA is due to receive its first Dreamliner in late September and has announced that it will operate a special charter flight between Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Hong Kong on October 26 and 27.

Tickets for business class seats on the Dreamliner's first flight with passengers aboard will be sold through a charity auction, with the proceeds going to Conservation International and The Organisation for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement. Economy class tickets will be available to members of the ANA Mileage Club, with a lottery being held for the 100 seats available.

Following the Hong Kong flights, ANA will operate excursion flights for passengers, departing from and returning to Narita, on October 28 and 29.

On November 1, the Dreamliner will start regular domestic services, flying on the 80-minute route from Haneda to Okayama Prefecture and, later in the day, from Haneda to Hiroshima.

The first regular international route that it will be deployed on will link Haneda and Beijing, with once-a-week flights starting in December.

The aircraft is Boeing's next-generation, fuel-efficient passenger jet, with a similar amount of thought gone into the passengers' experience during the flight. The interior is designed to better meet the needs of people with mobility and sensory disabilities, including better access to lavatories for people in wheelchairs.

The aircraft has larger cabin windows than other aircraft and glass that dims automatically to do away with the need for window shades.

The aircraft seats between 234 and 296 passengers, uses 20 percent less fuel than the similarly sized Boeing 767. The longest-range variant is able to fly up to 15,700 km - the equivalent of Los Angeles to Bangkok or Taipei to New York.

JR

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