The Boeing 787 is a well-known widebody aircraft. Called the “Dreamliner,” the aircraft made quite a splash with its first flight back in December 2009. Since then, Boeing has delivered over 900 787s from the family, which contains three subtypes: the -8s, -9s, and -10s. However, only three airlines operate all three variants.
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ANA operates a total of 73 Boeing 787s per Planespotters. This includes two Boeing 787-10s, 36 787-8s, and 35 787-9s. These planes fly several vital routes. Some popular airports in the world that see ANA 787 service include San Jose (SJC), Seattle (SEA), Hong Kong (HKG), Sydney (SYD), Paris (CDG), among others. The carrier remains a significant customer for the type.
The 787-10s have 38 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 235 economy class seats seating a grand total of 294 passengers.
The 787-9s come in two different configurations. One has 40 business class seats, 14 premium economy, and 192 economy class seats for a total capacity of 246. The other 787-9 configuration includes 38 business class seats, 21 premium economy, and 146 economy seats for a total capacity of 215.
The 787-8s come in three variants. The densest is 240 seats with 42 business class and 198 economy class seats. The next has capacity for 184 seats seating 32 in business class, 14 premium economy, and 138 economy class seats. The lightest configuration seats only 169 passengers with 46 business class seats, 21 premium economy, and only 102 economy class seats.
With its first 787-10 coming this last weekend, British Airways has 31 787s according to Planespotters. Alongside the brand new 787-10, British Airways also has 12 787-8s and 18 787-9s.
Some popular cities where these 787s fly from London include Baltimore (BWI), Newark (EWR), Nashville (BNA), Hyderabad (HYD), Philadelphia (PHL), Mexico City (MEX), Delhi (DEL), and Atlanta (ATL), among others.
The 787-8s are outfitted in a three-class configuration with 35 seats in Club World (business class), 25 in World Traveller Plus (premium economy), and 154 in World Traveller (economy class) for a total capacity fo 214 passengers.
The 787-9s are, capacity-wise, not much larger with seating for 216 passengers. However, unlike the -8s, the -9s are in a four-class configuration. This includes eight seats in First, 42 seats in Club World, 39 in World Traveller Plus, and 127 in World Traveller.
The long-awaited 787-10s will contain eight First Class seats, 48 brand new Club Suite (British Airways’ new business class product) seats, seating for 35 in World Traveller Plus, and 165 in World Traveller. This comes out to a total maximum capacity of 256 customers.
United operates 55 787s per Planespotters. This includes 13 787-10s, 12 787-8s, and 30 787-9s. These planes can be found on transcontinental routes, flights to Frankfurt (FRA), Tel Aviv (TLV), Paris (CDG), Brussels (BRU), Singapore (SIN), Cape Town (CPT), and Tokyo (HND), among others.
United is working on retrofitting its 787s with the airline’s new Polaris (business) and Premium Plus (premium economy) products. The non-retrofitted 787-8s have 36 seats in business class, 70 extra-legroom economy seats (Economy Plus), and 113 regular economy seats for a total of 219 passengers.
The retrofitted 787-8s contain 28 Polaris seats, 21 Premium Plus seats, 36 Economy Plus, and 158 economy seats for a maximum capacity of 243.
The 787-9s are also undergoing a retrofit. The non-refurbished 787-9s have 48 business class seats, 88 extra-legroom economy seats, and 116 economy seats for a total maximum capacity of 252 passengers. Meanwhile, the retrofitted -9s contain 48 Polaris seats, 21 Premium Plus seats, 39 Economy Plus seats, and 149 economy seats for a total of 257 seats.
The 787-10s were delivered with the new Polaris cabin and Premium Plus configurations. There are 44 Polaris seats, 21 in Premium Plus, 54 extra-legroom economy seats, and 199 regular economy seats. This works out to a total of 318 passengers.
Why don’t more carriers fly all three variants?
Pilots can move across all three 787 types without needing significant training. This would make it attractive for airlines to operate since they can, in theory, streamline their widebody fleet with one aircraft type containing 220-ish, 260-ish, and 300-ish passengers.
However, for a lot of carriers, there are a lot of other considerations. Some airlines also fly Boeing 777s or Airbus A330s that would cover for one or two variants. For example, American Airlines, which operates both 787-8s and -9s, also flies the 777-300ER that covers the 300-capacity segment.
The least popular variant of the 787 is the -10, which traditionally seats 300 passengers and more. That much capacity also might not be of interest to an airline.
While the 787 is cheaper to operate than older aircraft and provides a better passenger experience, filling all of those seats could still be a difficult task for airlines that do not have large connecting hubs built up or that operate on high-demand long-haul routes.
Have you flown all variants of the 787? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!