What Are The Oldest Boeing 787s In Service?

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The Boeing 787 is one of the newest planes to come into passenger service. First delivered in 2011, the aircraft has become a favorite for airlines thanks to its extensive range and fuel efficiency. And, for passengers, the travel experience was much better compared to older aircraft. Here are the oldest Boeing 787s in service.

Boeing 787 first flight
Simple Flying looks at the oldest 787s in passenger service. Photo: Boeing

Special 787s are the oldest

According to data from Planespotters, the oldest Boeing 787 is a 787-8 registered as N7874 and is a test aircraft for Boeing. This plane has served as an ecoDemonstrator, testing over 25 new technologies in the past few years.

This includes examining software and connectivity technology to improve operational efficiency, find ways to reduce wiring using remote sensors, aerodynamic and flight control improvements targeting greater fuel efficiency, and icephobic wing coatings to reduce the dangerous accumulation of ice. N7874 was built in June of 2009, making it 11 years old.

Ecodemonstrator
The oldest 787 flying performing an ecoDemonstrator flight. Photo: Boeing

The next oldest 787 is XC-MEX. This jet is Mexico’s VIP 787-8. The luxurious plane has made headlines recently as the country’s president tries to sell it off. Some options included raffling off the jet or else getting Justin Trudeau to take over the aircraft. XC-MEX is also 11 years old.

Mexico 787
Mexico has been trying to offload this aircraft with little success. Photo: Getty Images

The oldest passenger 787s

All Nippon Airways, better known as ANA, is a Japanese carrier that took the first Boeing 787-8 in September of 2011. ANA is still a big 787 customer and operator. The aircraft, JA801A, is quite young at just about nine years old. Shortly thereafter, ANA took two more 787-8s, JA802A and JA805A in 2011. By the end of 2012, ANA had received a total of 13 Boeing 787-8s. These aircraft are all between eight and nine years old.

ANA 787
The first 787-8 was a big deal for ANA. Photo: Boeing

In between ANA’s deliveries, Japan Airlines also took two 787-8s, JA826J and JA827J. These eight-year-old planes are among some of the most comfortable Boeing 787s to grace the skies.

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JA826J
JA826J, one of the oldest 787-8s. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr

Ethiopian Airlines took its first Boeing 787-8 in 2012. ET-AOQ is a 787-8.

Ethiopian 787
Ethiopian’s first 787 on a test flight. Photo: Boeing

In September of 2012, both Air India and United Airlines took their first 787-8s. Air India took two registered as VT-ANH and VT-AND. Another 787-8, VT-ANI, went to Air India in October of 2012.

Air India
One of Air India’s first 787-8s, VT-ANI. Photo: Boeing

Meanwhile, United took N20904. Another 787-8, N26906 came United’s way in October of 2012.

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United 787
United’s first 787-8 taking off. Photo: Boeing

The next month, Qatar Airways took A7-BCB, its first Boeing 787-8.

Qatar 787
Qatar Airways’ first 787-8, A7-BCB. Photo: Alec Wilson via Flickr

So, in sum, ANA operates the oldest Boeing 787-8s flying passengers. Meanwhile, JAL follows closely behind. Ethiopian, Air India, United, and Qatar Airways also fly some of the oldest 787s.

What about the 787-9?

The 787-9 is larger than the 787-8 in terms of passenger capacity and came a few years after the 787-8 entered passenger service. Air New Zealand took the first Boeing 787-9 in 2014– making that aircraft six years old. It is registered as ZK-NZE. Air New Zealand also took another 787-9, ZK-NZF, in 2014. Finally, before 2015 started, the airline also took ZK-NZG

ANZ 787
Air New Zealand’s first 787-9 came in 2014 with a big bash. Photo: Boeing

Next up is ANA with JA830A delivered a month after Air New Zealand’s 787-9. Later, ANA also received JA833A in September of 2014.

ANA 787-9
ANA’s first 787-9 on a flight. Photo: Boeing

United Airlines also took a 787-9 in 2014, registered as N38950. Later that same year, United also took N19951.

United 787
United Airlines is a big 787-9 operator. Photo: Boeing

Virgin Atlantic took a 787-9, aptly registered as G-VNEW, in October 2014– its first of the type. G-VAHH also came the airline’s way in late 2014.

G-VNEW
G-VNEW in Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. Photo: Tomas Del Coro via Flickr

Etihad Airways took its first 787-9, A6-BLA, in December of 2014.

Etihad 787
Etihad’s first 787-9. Photo: Boeing

This makes all of the oldest Boeing 787-9s a young six years old.

Due to the young age of the 787s around the world, expect these aircraft to fly for years to come. This is especially true for the latest variant of the Dreamliner, the 787-10.

Are you a big 787 fan? Which is the oldest 787 you’ve flown on? Let us know in the comments!

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