Boeing has rolled out of the Everett paint hangar the first 787-9 Dreamliner for delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand, revealing the carrier’s new-look livery.
The Boeing 787-9, painted in a distinctive black color scheme, features the official New Zealand Fern Mark.
“It’s great to see the Koru and the beautiful New Zealand fern emblazoned on this aircraft. This will soon be the first 787-9 aircraft anywhere in the world to operate commercially and I think it will instill a sense of pride in Kiwis and turn heads when it touches down at airports throughout Asia and the Pacific,” said Capt. David Morgan, Air New Zealand’s chief flight operations and safety officer.
Boeing claims the 787-9 Dreamliner is the first aircraft to feature the distinctive black version of Air New Zealand’s new-look livery design, with the airline gradually rolling out the white version of the livery across its domestic fleet in recent months.
Despite Boeing’s claim, which is technically correct, this 787-9 is not the first aircraft that Air New Zealand has painted black and given a large white fern logo: it is the third.
However, the two previously painted aircraft (an Airbus A320 and an ATR 72-600) were painted in 2011 and 2012 respectively to honor New Zealand’s All Blacks national rugby union team and both feature more versions of the fern logo, each sporting larger white fern motifs than does the 787-9 and a gray fern-leaf background to the white fern logo.
Thus, these two aircraft do not actually sport New Zealand’s official fern mark: they feature versions of the fern logos on the All Blacks’ rugby shirts, which are very similar to the national fern mark. The national fern mark also appears on the postage stamps issued by New Zealand Post.
While the majority of Air New Zealand’s fleet will eventually feature the white version of the airline’s new livery, a limited number will feature the black version, according to Boeing.
Air New Zealand plans to have its first Boeing 787-9 begin service on its Auckland-Perth route later this year. Air New Zealand has 10 Boeing 787-9s on order.
With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly up to 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 kilometers).
To date, 26 customers have ordered 405 787-9s, accounting for approximately 39 per cent of all 787 orders.