Following three years of delays to the program, Boeing has announced that it will deliver the first 787 aircraft to All Nippon Airways (ANA). Boeing and ANA announced yesterday that the two companies would be working together “to prove the Dreamiliner’s readiness to enter service on a commercial basis” according to a Boeing press release.
The testing is scheduled to begin the week of July 4, where in-service operations will be simulated. These flights will include trips from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to airports in Osaka (Itami and Kansai), Okayama, and Hiroshima. This testing will allow an easier transition in to service, as the employees will have had some prior experience with the aircraft. According to the press release, maintenance crews will also have the opportunity to practice maintaining and servicing the aircraft during this validation period including perform ground servicing, fit checks of airplane jacks and maintenance hangar stands, towing and refueling the airplane, and other routine maintenance operations.
ANA is currently training crews for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. With this more fuel efficient aircraft, ANA hopes to begin flights to both Europe and the United States in March 2012 according to an article by Chris Cooper and Kiyotaka Matsuda. Currently, ANA is the largest customer for the Dreamliner, having ordered 55 to date.