Boeing 787 Dreamliner Makes First Delivery

09/26/2011 01:36 PM ET

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will make its first delivery Tuesday on a flight from Seattle to Tokyo. The Boeing Dreamliner will fly to Japan where it will begin active service for a Japanese carrier. The 787 Dreamliner is now official after three years of delays.

Other airlines can experience the high-tech plane for $185-$218 million, but most of the travel industry is cutting back on projects during a time of economic recovery. Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s Chief Project Engineer, has called it “The most technologically advanced commercial airplane in history.” More than 50 percent of the craft is made of lightweight carbon-fibre composites that can reduce fuel costs by 20 percent.

“Comfort and cost are concerns of the business traveler, and the 787 Dreamliner will deliver extreme advancements in efficiency and many traveler features that will improve the journey,” said Michael Qualantone, senior vice president and general manager, American Express Global Business Travel.

Whether travelers will benefit from the lower fuel consumption after its delivery will depend upon cost structures for each airline. According to Blake Emery, Boeing’s director, differentiation strategy, the composite airframe allows a more comfortable cabin pressure. The air can also be recycled much more frequently in aluminum airframes where the process shortens aircraft life.

Though rebutting the suggestion that closer-to-sea-level cabin pressure will alleviate jet lag, Emery said, “Our goal is for people to feel better because of an aircraft experience, rather than feel beat up.”

The Boeing 787 also has a composite make-up that allows for more humidity for passengers, which will “reduce symptoms relating to dryness.” Dreamliner’s inauguration is, after three years of delivery delays, being closely monitored by the travel industry.

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