Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) has swapped its order for four Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, scheduled to be delivered during 2013, with a larger variant in the 787-9.
According to ANA, the decision would provide it with greater flexibility and support its international route network.
Following the swap, the total number of aircraft on order or delivered includes 36 B787-8 aircraft and 19 B787-9 aircraft, with seven having already been received by ANA.
ANA has deployed the Dreamliners on domestic routes in Japan and Haneda-Frankfurt since last autumn, and is planning to launch long-haul 787 services from Tokyo to Seattle and San Jose in the current fiscal year.
Powered by engines from General Electric and Rolls-Royce, the twin-isle 787-9 Dreamliner can seat 250 to 290 passengers and offer a range between 14,800km and 15,750km.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner offers a maximum takeoff weight of around 545,000lb, and a total cargo volume of 5,400ft3, with a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.85.
It is claimed by the company that the 787 provides airlines with enhanced fuel efficiency, with it using 20% less than similar aeroplanes.
Boeing is also planning to develop an even higher version of the Dreamliner, called the 787-10, which will have a seating capacity of 43 more passengers than the 787-9.
The company has recorded more than 850 orders for 787 aircraft worth $175bn from 58 customers since its launch in 2004.
Image: ANA received its first 787-8 Dreamliner in September 2011. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.