All Nippon Airlines (ANA) has become the latest carrier to convert some of its 787-8s on order to the larger -9 variant.
ANA has converted orders for 15 787-8s to the -9, although it still has 50 787-8s on order. According to a statement from the carrier, the -9’s will be used to “meet the increasing need for 400 seat-capacity aircraft for domestic routes, and will further improve the flexibility of our fleet and network planning. Furthermore, like the 787-8 model, it is a highly fuel efficient aircraft which will enable ANA to reduce operating costs and carbon dioxide emission.”
ANA has not said when it expects to take delivery of the first 787-9s. On current schedules, the first 787-9 will be delivered in late 2013 to launch customer Air New Zealand.
The change in aircraft follows a recent trend which has seen other carriers including Vietnam Airlines and Air China convert their orders for the 787-8 to the 787-9, with some sources claiming that the revised performance of the -8 does not meet their needs. However, in the case of ANA it appears that the 787s may replace some of its domestically operated Boeing 777-200s which are configured with 418 seats.