ANA, the lead airline for the all new 787 Dreamliner, says that it is looking forward to the aircraft”s introduction, on time, in May 2008. The airline will initially put the first two ”planes on the Narita ” Shanghai services, followed by Narita ” Beijing. ANA has ordered 50 787s, the initial aircraft used on Asian routes replacing 767s. These first aircraft will be configured two-class carrying around 200 passengers. All the ANA 787s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent engines.
Speaking (through an interpreter) at the Star Alliance gathering in Istanbul, airline president and CEO Mineo Yamamoto was most bullish and (not surrounded by minions ” as is usually the case with senior Japanese industrial leaders) most forthcoming. He said that the airline was not interested in the Boeing 747-8, or the Airbus A380 for that matter. He was phasing out 747s in favour of 777s over the next few years, some sold already to Avion Aircraft Trading of Iceland whilst others would find a home with ANA Cargo. At its peak ANA had 23 Boeing 747s including a special short haul high density version, still a record for a passenger aircraft, with 569 seats. A 747-400 it could easily be recognised, not having the familiar upturned wing fairing.