Boeing, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) and Norwegian celebrated several milestones Thursday during a delivery ceremony for a new 787 Dreamliner.
It was the first 787 delivered to ILFC and its lessee, Norwegian, which will operate the airplane. The 787 also marked the 700th airplane Boeing delivered to ILFC.
“Today’s delivery is a tremendous milestone for two leaders in their respective markets,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “ILFC continues to demonstrate its industry leadership as the first leasing company to take delivery of a 787. Norwegian gains a significant competitive advantage by opening its long-haul routes with this airplane.”
The delivery to ILFC builds on Boeing’s 40-year relationship with the Los Angeles-based leasing company and largest 787 customer with 74 Dreamliners on order.
“We’re proudly celebrating delivery of ILFC’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Norwegian, our launch customer for the aircraft,” said ILFC Chief Executive Officer Henri Courpron. “As the largest customer in the 787 program, we’re the industry’s leader in bringing the latest technology aircraft to the global leasing market.”
Norwegian Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Kjos said, “Today marks a major milestone in Norwegian’s history. It’s with great pleasure we eventually take delivery of our first 787 Dreamliner. Both our many customers and we at Norwegian have been looking forward to this for several months. I’m convinced that our customers will love flying this brand new aircraft with its many customer friendly features. Our goal is to operate the most environmentally friendly and cost efficient fleet, something to which the Dreamliner will significantly contribute.”
Norwegian currently has eight 787s on order through lease agreements and direct deliveries. The carrier will use the 787s to service its new long-haul routes from Oslo and Stockholm to New York and Bangkok. In November, the airline also will operate the 787 to Fort Lauderdale from Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen.
The 787 Dreamliner is composed of light-weight composites and features numerous system, engine and aerodynamic advancements providing airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency using 20 percent less fuel than today’s similarly sized airplanes. Passengers also enjoy improvements on the 787 such as an interior environment that is more comfortable and offers numerous passenger-pleasing elements including bigger windows.
To date, the 787 has accumulated 930 orders from 58 customers worldwide.