Etihad’s Dreamliner touches down in Abu Dhabi

Boeing 787 arrived in the UAE capital on Wednesday

Etihad Airways welcomed Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s first touchdown at the Abu Dhabi International Airport yesterday with a traditional water canon salute on arrival.

The historic BOE787 flight landed at 7.05pm, completing a 6,000km flight from Casablanca, Morocco.

Last December, Etihad Airways announced it was buying 10 more Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, taking its total order to 41, valued at $9.3 billion, and making it the largest operator of the aircraft type in the world.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier has options and purchase rights for an additional 25 and deliveries are scheduled to begin in the last quarter of 2014.

Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said:  “It’s a tremendous honour to welcome the 787 Dreamliner to Abu Dhabi.  It also marks the official countdown for us, as we prepare to introduce this magnificent aircraft into our fleet from 2014.

“This aircraft is the future and our decision to opt for the 787 Dreamliner is testimony to our commitment to operating one of the youngest and most fuel efficient fleets in the skies.”

Teaming up with Boeing, Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) and the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), a number of events have been planned to celebrate the aircraft’s presence in the UAE capital.

Earlier today, a select group of VIP guests experienced a two-hour demonstration flight, which included an aerial tour of the UAE.

Hundreds of airline and airport-based workers also inspected the aircraft upon its return and the day will conclude with the Dreamliner at the centre of a special lightshow spectacular.

Boeing’s 787-9s will carry up to 300 passengers and have a range of 8,000 nautical miles (14,800 kilometres).

When the aircraft joins Etihad Airways, it will operate to destinations including Dublin, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Nagoya, Delhi and Istanbul.

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