787 Dreamliner Arrives at DFW Airport, American Shows Off New Fleet

By Jonathan Spira on 12 May 2012
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Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft is on tour and its 33rd stop was Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, home of American Airlines, where it arrived on Friday to a warm welcome from a crowd of invited guests, airport and airline employees, and Boeing and American Airlines executives.  (To see the Dreamliner landing as well as for more detailed information on the aircraft, see Boeing’s Dreamliner: A Virtual Tour.)

The Dreamliner is currently in service with two airlines, ANA and Japan Airlines.  American has 42 confirmed orders for the aircraft and is scheduled to take delivery of its first Dreamliner in 2014.  The airline also has options to purchase an additional 58 787s.

“Wow! Is that a great-looking bird? … It’s going to look better in silver,” said American CEO Tom Horton in a brief ceremony after the plane arrived.  “Today,” Horton continued, “we get another glimpse of AA’s future.”

The plane, with its distinctive upswept wings, landed at 3:50 p.m. local time and received a “shower of affection” water cannon salute as it approached an American Airlines maintenance hangar where the crowd was waiting.

The Dreamliner arrived in Boeing’s standard livery with the logos of over 30 airlines (all of which have ordered the Dreamliner) on its fuselage.  The interior was non-airline specific (pictured below).  American hasn’t announced how it will paint the Dreamliner.  Traditionally, American’s aircraft have had a polished aluminum finish but the Dreamliner’s composite exterior won’t allow for the same look.

American may use the opportunity to create a new livery and look, a fact confirmed earlier this week by the airline’s chief commercial officer Virasb Vahidi in a brief interview with Frequent Business Traveler.

Currently, American has 460 Airbus and Boeing narrow-body aircraft on order in addition to the Dreamliners and orders for Boeing 777 aircraft.  The majority of the airline’s fleet will be replaced over the coming five years and the arrival of the new aircraft will give the company the opportunity to update its brand. The current bare-metal look has been in place since 1967.

To complement the Dreamliner, American had a brand new Boeing 737-800 with the Boeing Sky interior on display.  The new interior design, which is already featured on aircraft the airline is flying, was inspired by the Dreamliner’s and has new ceiling panels, new LED mood lighting, new roomy overhead bins, new sculpted sidewalls, and new controls.  American will start to take delivery of 100 aircraft from the Boeing 737NG family starting in 2013 and also plans to acquire an additional 100 Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which are powered by CFM International’s Leap-1B engines.

Earlier this week, American announced significant changes in first- and business-class cabins on its widebody international aircraft, including the addition of roomy lie-flat seats in business class.

(Photos: Jonathan Spira)

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