ANA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner: A Virtual Tour and Review

By Jonathan Spira on 17 October 2012
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TOKYO—ANA, which introduced Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to the world a month shy of  a year ago, has already taken delivery of 13 of the revolutionary airliner and must be very happy with the product, as the airline ordered 11 additional aircraft last month.

Perhaps feeling like Pan Am founder and long-time CEO Juan Trippe at the delivery of the very first Boeing 707, Mitsuo Morimoto, an ANA senior vice president, oversaw the roll-out of the first 787 Dreamliner intended for passenger service 14 months ago..  ANA will use the Dreamliner “to expand our business, particularly our international routes” and the aircraft will play an “instrumental role” in significantly increasing revenue from international operations, he said at the time, making it clear that the airline sees the Dreamliner as a key strategic part of its future. ANA will also use the aircraft to ramp up its satisfaction and quality ratings with customers: according to Morimoto, ANA simply wants to be perceived as the number one airline in these areas.

The first Dreamliners were put into domestic service by ANA on November 1, 2011.  The first regularly scheduled flight was on the Tokyo-Okayama route and Tokyo-Hiroshima started later the same day.  Long-haul service between Tokyo-Narita and Seattle, Washington started on October 1.

By the time 2013 rolls around, ANA will have 20 Dreamliners in service and it will have a total of 66 in its fleet by 2021.  ANA is ordering 787-800s and 787-900s to replace older Boeing 767-200 and 777-200 aircraft.  The long-haul variant, which is the one being introduced into service in Seattle, will have a total of 158 seats, of which 46 are in business class and 112 are in the main cabin. (By contrast, the short-haul jet will have 222 seats, with 42 in business and 180 in the main cabin.)


The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, widebody, twin-engine jet airliner that can seat between 210 to 290 passengers, depending on the airline’s particular configuration. It is the world’s first airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction, which makes it lighter and far more resistant to corrosion than earlier jets.

In size and capacity, the Dreamliner is similar to the Boeing 767 but it consumes 20% less fuel.  From a visual standpoint, the aircraft’s distinguishing features include a four-panel windshield and noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles.

Once inside the long-haul 787, it’s apparent that the aircraft is both new and special.  The first things one notices are the very large windows, which have an electrochromic dimming feature instead of shades.  The windows, which are at a higher eye level, make the cabin seem much more airy and give passengers a better view of the horizon.  All of the shades can be dimmed remotely by the cabin crew to darken the aircraft for sleep.

The aircraft itself is made using composite materials.  This has several implications beyond the fuel savings derived from the lower weight, including cabin pressure set to 1,800 m (6,000’) altitude instead of 2,400 m (8,000’), the norm on older aircraft and better air quality. Relative humidity is maintained at 15% instead of 4%, also possible due to the use of composites, which aren’t subject to corrosion as metals are.  Cabin air is provided by compressors instead of engine-bleed air, thereby increasing efficiency.  Air quality is also improved by the use of HEPA filters that remove airborne particles, a gaseous filtration system that removes odors and other contaminants, and a system that removes ozone from outside air.

Click here to continue to Page 2Business Class, Main Cabin, Other Amenities, In-Flight Entertainment and Tech, What is Different

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