Boeing Commercial Airplanes reported it has delivered the 500th 787 Dreamliner, a 787-8 to Avianca, the Columbian airline. “Achieving 500 deliveries – the fastest to 500 for twin aisles – is a great accomplishment, made possible by the hard work and dedication of our employees and global suppliers,” stated Mark Jenks, vice president and general manager for the 787 program.
The 787 is a long-range passenger jet that Boeing calls its “most fuel-efficient commercial jet design,” designed to incorporate a high volume of composite materials that help to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20% versus similar-size jets. Advanced aerodynamics, more-electric systems, and turbofan jet engines add to the 787’s appeal to airlines.
Avianca has ordered a total of 15 Dreamliners, with 10 delivered to date.
Boeing initiated the 787 program in the late 1990s as a new option for mid-sized, long-distance aircraft. The mid-sized, wide-body, twin-engine aircraft seats 242 to 335 passengers (depending on the variant) in a typical, three-class seating configuration. After some delays in development the OEM began delivering the first jets to customers in 2011. With 500 of the aircraft now delivered, Boeing has orders from more than 60 carriers and aircraft leasing groups for a further 1,199 jets, in three different design variants.
According to Boeing, currently there are 48 operators for the 787 Dreamliner fleet, who have flown a cumulative total of 696,000 revenue flights, carrying 133 million passengers over 1.7 billion revenue miles. 787 jets are in use for more than 530 routes, and have prompted carriers to establish more than 120 new nonstop routes worldwide since 2011.