SEATTLE, 24 September 2018: Shanghai Airlines took delivery of the carrier’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at the weekend.
The airline says it plans to use the aircraft to upgrade its regional and long-range service from its base in China’s largest city.
The new airplane, with a special symbol of “100” on its fuselage, is the 100th airplane for Shanghai Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines.
“With the introduction of these new airplanes, China Eastern Group will also officially launch a new generation passenger service system … to help us significantly upgrade our services.”
The 787-9 is the second member of the Dreamliner family, which offers 20 to 25% better fuel efficiency per seat and lower emissions than the airplanes they replace according to Boeing’s assessment. As the longest-range member of the family, the 787-9 can fly 290 passengers, in a typical two-class configuration, up to 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 km).
The airline plans to fly their initial 787s on popular domestic routes such as Shanghai to Chengdu and Beijing, as well as regional routes from Shanghai to Japan and Korea. As the carrier’s 787 fleet grows, it plans to take advantage of the aircraft’s long range and superior fuel efficiency to open new, international routes.
Since 2013, more than 60 Dreamliners have entered service across China, flying more than 22 million people on more than 75 routes.
China will soon become the first trillion dollar airplane market in the world, driven primarily by the growing middle class. By 2037, it is forecast that China will need 7,690 airplanes to meet the growing demand and that is expected to increase 6.2% annually.