Today, 10th September, a Boeing B787 visited Belgium for the very first time. Ethiopian Airlines, which normally uses Boeing B757 and B767 aircraft on its Brussels route, exceptionally operated the route with its brand-new B787. The B787 Dreamliner is a commercial airplane developed by the Amercian constructor Boeing.
This is the very first time a Boeing B787 lands at Brussels. The Dreamliner is assembled in the Boeing factory in Everett (Seattle, Washington). So far, over 850 Dreamliner planes have been sold to airlines around the globe. The first of these have been put into commercial service during the past few months.
The Boeing 787 has a range of 14,000 to 16,000 km, which is more than most other aircraft. It is more fuel-efficient and ecological than previous generation aircraft. To achieve this, Boeing used a new generation of bleedless engines, improved the aircraft’s aerodynamics and reduced its weight. The heavy hydraulic system has been partly replaced by electric systems and composite materials were used on a wide scale.
The B787 was developed to carry a relatively small number of passengers (about 250) nonstop over very long distances. This opens opportunities on a whole range of destinations for which demand is not big enough to justify the use of larger Boeing or Airbus. Because the B787 was specially designed for airports such as Brussels Airport, it is expected that it will become one of the major players in the years to come. The first Belgian Dreamliner will be put into service by Jetairfly, which is currently building a big maintenance hangar at Brussels Airport where the company will provide technical assistance for its own Dreamliner and those of its European partners.
Ethiopian Airlines is one of the largest and most rapidly growing airlines in Africa. It was created in 1946 and has been operating at Brussels Airport since 2006. The airline operates a five weekly service to Addis Ababa, from which it offers smooth onward connections to a wide range of destinations in Africa and the Middle East. Ethiopian Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance and has a fleet of 48 aircraft, including the new Dreamliner.