Departing from the COVID-19 news for a moment, the 1000th Boeing 787 Dreamliner has performed her maiden flight. She is now on track to being delivered to Singapore Airlines, in the coming weeks.
The milestone figure comes as good news to Boeing, who has been battling non-stop woes in the form of the 737 MAX crisis and now COVID-19. Although it has taken nearly a decade, delivering the 1000th 787 marks a major milestone for Boeing; particularly their design process and modern engineering capabilities, which have made it the fastest widebody aircraft to reach 1000 production units.
Registered 9V-SCP and manufactured under line number 1000; the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner destined for Singapore Airlines performed her maiden flight on the 3rd of April, this was captured by a plane spotter at Boeing’s North Charleston facility.
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Maiden flight of the 1000th production Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The Singapore Airlines 787-10, 78x performed a three hour test flight over the Northern Atlantic Ocean and featured one go around. Notice the 1000th Dreamliner decal underneath the cockpit. Call sign BOE016, registration # 9V-SCP. April 3, 2020 at Charleston International Airport. #Boeing #boeingsouthcarolina #boeingcharleston #boeing78xdreamliner #boeing78x #b78x #b78xdreamliner #1000dreamliner #1000boeingdreamliner #singaporeairlines #singapore #singaporeairlines1000 #b787_fanpage #planespottergary #canon90d #sigma150600mmf563isdg
Looking at the aircraft, Singapore Airlines has opted to add a 1000th 787 Dreamliner decal to the nose. Rewind to October 1993 and the airline took delivery of the 1000th 747. Adding to the milestone figure collection, the airline took delivery of Airbus’ 10,000th aircraft with a special decal being applied to the aft fuselage section of an A350-900.
With 49 787-10 Dreamliners expected to enter Singapore Airlines’ fleet over the next few years these aircraft, along with the Airbus A350, are expected to become the primary haulers.
During the delivery of their first 787-10 in 2018, Singapore Airlines CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong, said that the aircraft was an important component to their growth strategy; allowing the airline to expand their routes and operate existing flights more efficiently.
One question remains though: Will Singapore Airlines be able to take delivery of this aircraft and show off their next milestone fleet icon?
In the growing COVID-19 crisis, more and more aircraft are being grounded and the demand for travel has slumped to an all-time low; meaning this aircraft could go straight from the delivery centre to temporary storage, until things start to go back to normal.
Luckily, the excellent efficiency of the 787 Dreamliner, across various stage lengths, makes for an attractive aircraft to operate, even with reduced passenger numbers; meaning Singapore Airlines could take it immediately and put it into service with additional cargo capacity.
As a result of taking delivery of a new aircraft, the retirement of an older aircraft is likely; especially now that operational costs are more important than ever.
For more on Singapore Airlines’ 787-10 Dreamliner, check out Sam Chui’s trip on the first delivery flight:
What do you think will happen to this aircraft during the COVID-19 crisis?