Ambitious airline Juneyao has taken delivery of its sixth Boeing 787 Dreamliner today. But, more poignant than that, this is the 100th Dreamliner to be delivered to China from Boeing.
A special 787 for Juneyao
Juneyao has been operating the 787-9 since its first aircraft of the type was delivered in October 2018. It was remarkable for the carrier, as it was previously an all-Airbus operator. For China, it was also the first 787, in fact the first widebody aircraft, to be operated by a privately owned airline.
Today’s delivery of the 787-9 will add the sixth Dreamliner to Juneyao’s fleet. The impact of this new aircraft has been clear to see. Previously mainly a domestic operator, the 787 has allowed Juneyao to open 13 new routes all over the world from major hubs in China which were not possible with its previous fleet.
Wang Junjin, Chairman of Juneyao Airlines, commented in a Boeing press release,
“We are honored to receive this special airplane. The 787 is playing a more and more important role in our fleet, becoming one of our workhorses.”
For the airline, this is not the last of the Dreamliners it’s due. Four more will be delivered in the coming months, taking the fleet to a total of 10. The airline says that one of the new routes it plans to open will be Shanghai to Athens, set to launch by the middle of next year. This is in addition to that funny fifth freedom route to Manchester, starting in March.
The special Dreamliner
The newly delivered aircraft bears a special livery. While not as outlandish as some of the milestone liveries we’ve seen in the past, it’s quite pretty and very appropriate for the airline.
The delivery was marked by a ceremony that included Chinese dragons and traditional dancers.
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) November 21, 2019
The love for the Dreamliner in China
The first Dreamliner to arrive in China was unveiled by Air China on the 25th May 2016. The grand ceremony held by the carrier marked the start of a growing trend, as many more Chinese airlines also began to take delivery of the 787.
Now, as of today, there are 100 Dreamliners in operation in China, in service for six different airlines.
Hainan Airlines has the largest fleet, with 34 in service to date, split between 10 of the smaller 787-8 and 24 787-9. Next is China Southern with a total of 19, 10 of which are the -8 and nine the -9. Air China, the first to take a Dreamliner, now has a fleet of 14, all of the 787-9 variant.
Xiamen Airlines has 12, split evenly between the -8 and -9 variants, while China Eastern operates a fleet of 10, all of which are the 787-9. Despite being the smallest customer of the 787 in China with now six in its fleet, Juneyao is significant for Boeing as it’s the first non-state owned airline in the nation to operate the type.