Which Airlines Operate The Boeing 787-9?

It’s hard to believe, but the Boeing 787-9 has only been flying paying passengers for just over six years. The plane already seems ubiquitous. According to Boeing data, 934 of the Dreamliners have been ordered. Of that number, 556 planes have been delivered and are in service (or parked) with airlines worldwide. But who are the airlines flying the Boeing 787-9?

There are now 556 Boeing 787-9s in service at airlines worldwide. Photo: Boeing

A number of leasing companies own Boeing 787-9s. Most are out with airline operators, but several lessors presently have surplus 787-9s on their hands. That includes Ireland’s Aercap, which has nine of the planes. United States-based GE Capital Aviation Services (better known as GECAS) has one 787-9 on its hands right now. Also in the United States, Wilmington Trust has three of the planes sitting around.

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Breaking it down by region

Elsewhere in North America, United Airlines has 35 Boeing 787-9s, American Airlines has 22 of the planes, and Kalair has a single 787-9. Up in Canada, WestJet operates six of the Dreamliners, and Air Canada has 29 of them.

Moving down the American landmass, Aeromexico has 11 787-9s, Avianca has one, and LATAM Chile has 12. It’s not a huge presence in Central and South America.

Over in Africa, the primary operator of the 787-9 is Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines. You’ve got to head north, around the Mediterranean and Gulf nations, before running into the 787-9 again. Egyptair has six of the planes. Royal Air Maroc has four of the Boeings. El Al Israel Airlines has a neat dozen of them.

The 787-9 is popular across the Gulf nations, though. Variously, Etihad Airways flies 30 of them, near-neighbor Qatar Airways has seven of the Dreamliners. Saudi Arabian Airlines has 13 of the planes, Oman Airlines has seven, Gulf Air has nine, and the United Arab Emirates Presidental Flight owns four 787-9 Dreamliners.

United Airlines is one of the world’s biggest operators of Boeing 787-9s. Photo: Boeing

The United Kingdom flies the flag for the Boeing 787-9

Moving northwest towards Europe, Turkish Airlines has 14 Boeing 787-9s, Italy’s Neos has four of them, and Air Europa has a hefty 16 of the planes.

The Boeing 787-9 is well represented in the United Kingdom. British Airways also has 16, and Virgin Atlantic flies 17 of the planes. The Anglo-German operator, TUI, also has half a dozen of the 787-9s.

Sibling airlines Air France-KLM have 10 and 13 of the Dreamliners each. Warsaw-based LOT Polish Airlines has seven of the 787-9s. However, the biggest operator of the Boeing 787-9 in Europe is Norwegian. Norwegian Air Sweden has three of the planes, Norwegian Air UK have 12, and Norwegian long-haul also has 12.

Anglo-German tour operator TUI has six Boeing 787-9s. Photo: Boeing

The Boeing 787-9 a big hit in China

Over in Asia, the 787-9 is a big hit and operated by multiple airlines. In China alone, China Eastern Airlines, Air China, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Juneyao Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Suparna Airlines, and Shanghai Airlines all fly the plane. Between them, there are 85 Boeing 787-9s based in China.

Across the rest of North Asia, Japan’s All Nippon Airways is the world’s biggest operator of the Boeing 787-9, with 41 of them. Competitor Japan Airlines has 20 of the type. In South Korea, Korean Air Lines has 10 of the Dreamliners, and the newly established Air Premia has one. In Taiwan, EVA Airways has four of the planes.

Further south in Asia, Vietnam Airlines has 11 Boeing 787-9s, and the local up-start airline, Bamboo Airways, has three of the planes. Across in Bangkok, THAI has a pair of the Dreamliners. In Singapore, Scoot has ten of the planes.

China’s Juneyao Airlines has six Boeing 787-9s. Photo: Boeing

In South Asia, Biman Bangladesh Airlines has two of the Boeing 787-9s. Just a hop, skip and jump away, in India, Vistara has also has a pair.

In the South Pacific, Air Tahiti Nui, Air New Zealand, and Qantas operate the 787-9 Dreamliner. Air Tahiti Nui has four of them, Air New Zealand has 14, and Qantas presently has 11.

By our count, that’s 54 airlines currently with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. They range from big operators like All Nippon Airways, United Airlines, and Etihad Airways to smaller airlines with just one or two planes each. Not all the 787-9s listed are presently flying – many are parked. But as this brief survey reveals, in the space of just six years, this model of the Dreamliner has successfully established itself across all six inhabited continents.