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With news earlier this week that Royal Jordanian would begin operating its 787 Dreamliners from Amman to Montreal and Detroit, I asked TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen to look at which North American airports are currently being served by Boeing’s next-generation aircraft, and by which airlines.
Note: The information here is current as of publication, but airline schedules and aircraft delivery dates change constantly. Check your specific dates and routes for the most up-to-date information, and if you find any discrepancies, please let us know in the comments!
Boeing’s 787, also known as the Dreamliner, is the company’s much-heralded (and sometimes troubled) next-generation jet. Boeing currently builds three versions: the 787-8 is the original, and the one with the most orders at the moment; the newer 787-9 is about 20 feet longer and can fly about 500 miles farther; the 787-10, which has not yet launched commercially, will be the longest of the three, with seating for up to 323 passengers and a range of about 8,080 miles.
Each one of these planes costs over $200 million, and the various versions fit between 220-300 passengers depending on the configuration. The range is around 8,000 miles for the 787-8 and 8,500 miles for the 787-9, with a cruising speed of just over 560 miles per hour.
Though the aircraft is about the same size as a 767, it uses 20% less fuel thanks to the extensive use of lighter composites in its fuselage, and aerodynamic features like raked wing-tips that improve lift. The onboard experience also features improvements such as a quieter, better-humidified cabin, larger windows and more contemporary lighting effects.
The aircraft is designed for mid- and long-haul routes where airlines don’t necessarily want to commit a larger jet such as a 777 or an A340, and is also opening up smaller airports and seasonal routes to give airlines added flexibility in their scheduling.
TPG previously wrote about early options for trying the 787, but as these new jets are delivered to more airlines, there are more opportunities than ever to try it out for yourself when flying into or out of North America. Below you’ll find a list of current airlines flying the 787, followed by a list of airports and routes offering 787 service.
Airlines with 787s Operating to North America
First, a list of airlines currently operating 787 flights to/from North American markets, along with their seating arrangements. Note, all aircraft delivery numbers are cited from Boeing’s order summary as of October 31, 2014.
Aeromexico: Mexico’s major carrier has a 787-8 with 32 lie-flat seats in business class and 211 standard economy seats. The airline has ordered a total of 19 of these jets.
Air Canada: Air Canada’s 787 has 20 fully lie-flat business class seats, 38 in premium economy and 210 in economy. The airline currently has 5 out of an order of 15 787-8 aircraft, and 22 787-9 models on order.
ANA: This Japanese airline was the launch customer of the 787-8, and currently has both versions in service. Its 787-8 has 46 fully lie-flat seats in business class, 21 in premium economy and 102 in economy. This is the version it uses internationally. The 787-9 (just for reference) has 18 recliner seats in business class and 377 seats in economy.
British Airways: 35 seats in Club World business class, 25 in World Traveller Plus premium economy, and 154 standard economy seats. The airline currently has its full order of 8 787-8’s in hand, with an order of 22 787-9’s still to be delivered.
China Southern: This China-based SkyTeam carrier has received all ten of its Boeing 787-8 order. Its Dreamliners have 4 lie-flat first class seats, 24 lie-flat business class seats, and 200 economy seats.
Ethiopian Airlines: Not the newest configuration, but 24 angled lie-flat seats in “Cloud Nine” business class and 246 standard economy seats. The airline currently has its full order of 10 787-8’s operating.
Hainan Airlines: This China-based carrier currently has eight of its order of 10 787-8’s. Its version has 36 flatbed seats in business class and 177 economy seats.
Japan Airlines (JAL): JAL operates two versions of the 787-8. The older version comes with just two cabins. The business-class cabin has 42 angled lie-flat seats and the economy cabin has 144 seats. The newer version has 38 fully flat JAL Sky Suites in business class, 35 premium economy seats and 88 economy seats. This is the version that will fly on JAL’s route from Tokyo to New York. JAL currently has 15 out of an order of 25 787-8’s, with 20 787-9’s on order.
LAN: This South American airline has a two-class configuration with 30 lie-flat beds in business class and 217 seats in economy. LAN currently has 9 787-8’s with 13 still to be delivered, and an order of 787-9’s.
LOT Polish Airlines: This plane has three classes. Business class has 18 fully lie-flat beds, premium economy has 21 recliner seats, and economy has 213 seats. LOT currently has 6 out of its total order of 8 787-8 aircraft.
Norwegian Air: This Scandinavian upstart operates a plane with just 32 premium economy seats and a whopping 259 regular economy seats (no first or business class). Norwegian has two out of its order of 3 787-8’s operating already according to Boeing, though Norwegian claims that it already operates a roster of 7 out of an order of 17 here. It occasionally leases more from other airlines such as LOT.
Royal Jordanian: This airline’s 787’s have a total of 271 seats: 24 in business “Crown Class” and 247 in economy. It currently operates 5 Dreamliners with plans to take delivery of 6 more.
United: United was the first US airline to take delivery of the 787. It has 787-8’s with 36 lie-flat business class seats, 70 Economy Plus seats and 113 regular economy seats. Its new 787-9’s will have 48 business class seats, 88 Economy Plus seats and 116 economy seats. United currently has 11 out of 12 of its 787-8’s, and 2 out of its order of 26 787-9’s.
Virgin Atlantic: Virgin Atlantic’s newest plane is the 787-9 with 31 seats in Upper Class, 35 in premium economy, and 198 economy seats. The airline has an order of 16 787-9’s, of which 1 has been delivered.
Airports in North America
You can currently find the 787 operated by these airlines out of the following airports in North America.
- British Airways: Flies from London Heathrow daily until March 29, 2015.
- Hainan Airlines: Flies from Beijing to Boston four times weekly.
- JAL: Flies from Tokyo Narita daily.
- Virgin Atlantic: This will be Virgin’s first 787-9 route from London Heathrow daily.
- British Airways: Flies from London Heathrow, service will end February 10, 2015.
- Hainan Airlines: Flies from Beijing 4x weekly, increasing to daily by summer 2015.
- LOT Polish Airlines: Flies from Warsaw 3x weekly.
- Royal Jordanian: Started using one of its new Dreamliners on the 5x weekly Amman-ORD route as of November 30, 2014.
- United: Flies from Houston and Tokyo Narita daily.
- Royal Jordanian: RJ just introduced 2x weekly service aboard its Dreamliner in December. It currently stops in Montreal, but will be non-stop by spring.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Norwegian: Flies with varying frequency (usually 1-2x per week) from Copenhagen, London Gatwick, Oslo, Stockholm.
- JAL: Flies from Tokyo Narita twice daily.
- United: Flies to Denver (daily), Lagos (6x weekly), London Heathrow (daily), Los Angeles LAX (daily), San Francisco (daily), Tokyo Narita (3x weekly).
Los Angeles LAX
- Ethiopian Airlines: Will launch 3x weekly service from Los Angeles to Dublin continuing on to Addis Ababa starting June, 2015.
- JAL: Will fly daily from Osaka starting March 20, 2015.
- LAN: Flies from Santiago via Lima daily.
- Norwegian: Flies from Copenhagen (twice weekly), and from London Gatwick (twice weekly).
- United: Flies from LAX to Shanghai (daily), Tokyo Narita (daily) and Melbourne (6x weekly).
- Aeromexico: Mexico’s capital is Aeromexico’s hub, so you’ll find its 787’s flying to Buenos Aires (starting in April 2015 four times weekly), London Heathrow (3x weekly), New York JFK, Paris CDG, Rio De Janeiro (starting late in 2015), Santiago de Chile (starting in January 2015 five times weekly) and Tokyo Narita via Tijuana.
- LAN: Will fly to Santiago de Chile daily starting later in 2015.
- LAN: Flies from Santiago twice daily.
- Royal Jordanian: The airline currently flies from Amman twice weekly.
- British Airways: From London Heathrow daily.
- Virgin Atlantic: The airline plans to fly here 5x weekly from London Heathrow starting February 1, 2015.
New York JFK
- Aeromexico: Flies to Mexico City daily.
- JAL: Flies daily from Tokyo Narita, and will start using planes with the new Sky Suite starting January 1, 2015.
- LAN: Flies daily from Santiago.
- LOT Polish Airlines: Flies from Warsaw 2x weekly.
- Norwegian: Flies from Copenhagen (1x per week), Oslo (4x per week), and Stockholm (3x weekly), and London Gatwick (3x weekly).
- Royal Jordanian: Started service here with the new aircraft as of November 8, 2014, and operates 4x per week.
- Virgin Atlantic: The airline plans to start flying its new 787-9 here from London Heathrow daily by the end of February, 2015.
- Norwegian: Flies from Stockholm twice weekly (3x weekly starting in April.
- Norwegian: Flies from Oslo weekly. and will fly one weekly from Copenhagen and London Gatwick starting on March 30 and April 4, 2015 respectively.
- British Airways: Flies from London Heathrow daily.
- JAL: Flies from Tokyo Narita daily.
- China Southern: Flies to San Francisco from Guangzhou via Wuhan three times weekly starting December 16, 2014. China Southern will also offer 4x weekly non-stop flights from Guangzhou starting June 22, 2015.
- United: Flies from its hub to Chengdu (3x weekly) and Osaka (6-7x weekly depending on the month).
San Jose, CA
- ANA: Flies from Tokyo Narita daily.
- ANA: Flies from Tokyo Narita daily.
- Hainan Airlines: Flies from Beijing daily.
- Air Canada: This is Air Canada’s eastern domestic hub, and the airline operates its 787’s from here to Copenhagen (3x weekly for summer 2015), London Heathrow (starting in April), Montreal, Tel Aviv, Tokyo Narita (daily starting in December), Shanghai, and Zurich (daily), and will add service to Beijing (daily). Flyers can also hop over to Vancouver on a 787-8 daily for a limited time this winter if they just want to try it on a short-haul.
- British Airways: Flies from London Heathrow.
- Ethiopian Airlines: Flies from Addis Ababa via Rome twice weekly.
- Hainan Airlines: Flies from Beijing four times weekly.
- LOT Polish Airlines: Flies from Warsaw once weekly.
- Air Canada: Flies four times weekly to Beijing (will be daily for part of February), will add service to Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo later in 2015.
- China Southern: Flies from Guangzhou.
- JAL: Flies from Tokyo Narita daily.
Washington Dulles IAD
- Virgin Atlantic: The airline plans to start service here from London Heathrow by January 7, 2015, starting with 5x weekly and moving to daily by January 19, 2015.
Have you flown the 787 on any of these routes? Please share your experiences in the comments below!