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Airbus A380 of Korean Air. (Photo: Airbus)

Chronology of widebody airliners (10)


= 20 March 2011 =
The Boeing 747-8I Intercontinental performs its first flight. The aircraft is a slow seller, with a total of 33 orders so far, from Lufthansa (20) and Korean Air (5) plus eight as VIP-aircraft.

Boeing 747-8
The first Boeing 747-8I during its first flight. (Photo Boeing)

= 4 February 2011 =
Boeing rolls out the 1000th Boeing 767. The aircraft will be delivered to ANA All Nippon Airways. The 1001st aircraft will be built on a new, smaller and more efficient poduction line in another building to make room for 787-production.

= 19 August 2011 =
The US and European aviation authorities, FAA and EASA, jointly certify the Boeing 747-8F freighter. First delivery to Cargolux is expected in early September. Boeing names the 747-8F the 'largest western freighter ever built'. At the time of certification Boeing has 78 orders for the 747-8F from twelve customers.

= 26 August 2011 =
The FAA and EASA jointly certify the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. At the time of certification Boeing has 827 orders, down from around 900 at an earlier stage of the program.

= 26 September 2011 =
Boeing delivers the first 787 Dreamliner to All Nippon Airways (ANA) with a special ceremony in Everett. More than fivehundred Boeing-employees walked alongside the jetliner to present it to ANA executives. A crowd of thousands looked on.

Boeing 747-8
The first Boeing 787 was handed over at a rainy Everett. (Photo Boeing)

= 12 October 2011 =
Cargolux takes delivery of the first Boeing 747-8F. The aircraft flies to Seattle-Tacoma for its first cargo load, destined for the Cargolux homebase. Delivery is delayed a couple of weeks, because the airline and Boeing were quarrelling about compensation for the 2.7 percent higher than promised fuel consumption of the aircraft. Until delivery of the first aircraft, Boeing has sold 75 747-8 Freighters.

Boeing 747-8
(Photo Boeing)

= 14 December 2011 =
Boeing receives the airworthiness certificate from the FAA for the Boeing 747-8I Intercontinental.


= 28 February 2012 =
Boeing delivers its first 747-8 Intercontinental VIP airplane to an undisclosed customer. The aircraft has a minimal interior and will enter service in 2014 after its luxurious VIP interior is installed. The aircraft will have only 100 seats and can fly 8,840 nautical miles (16,372 km). At the time of the delivery Boeing has orders for nine 747-8 VIP airplanes.

= 25 April 2012 =
Boeing delivers the first 747-8I Intercontinental passenger aircraft to Lufthansa, the first customer for this version. The aircraft will arrive in Frankfurt on May 2.

Boeing 747-8I Lufthansa
(Photo Boeing)


= 14 June 2013 =
The Airbus A350 XWB takes off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport for its first flight over southern France. At that time the A350 XWB has won 613 firm orders from 33 customers worldwide.

Airbus A350 XWB First flight
(Photo: Airbus)

= 18 June 2013 =
Boeing launches a new version of the Dreamliner, the 787-10, at the Paris Air Show. At that time the aircraft manufacturer has commitments for 102 airplanes from five customers, including British Airways/IAG, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines and aircraft lessors ILC and GECAS. Final assembly and flight test of the 787-10 are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018.

Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
(Image: Boeing)

= 17 September 2013 =
The second version of the Boeing Dreamliner, the 787-9 takes off from Paine Field in Everett for its first flight. It is the beginning of a flight-test programme that must lead to certification and delivery in mid-2014. The flight lasted 5 hour and 16 minutes flight.

Boeing 787-9 first flight
(Photo: Boeing)

= 19 September 2013 =
Lufthansa is the first airline to select the yet to launch Boeing 777X for its future long-haul fleet. It wants 34 of the 777-9X.
Earlier in the year Lufthansa Group ordered six 777-300ERs for Swiss International Airlines and Lufthansa is awaiting the first of five 777 Freighters later in the year. Boeing targets the launch of the 777X for the end of the year and entry into service around the end of the decade. Lufthansa also orders 25 Airbus A350-900 aircraft at the same time.

= November 20, 2013 =
Boeing officially launches the 777X at the Dubai Air Show, with 259 orders from four airlines. It is the largest single commercial launch by value in the history of the commercial jetliner industry. Boeing will develop two versions: the 777-8X and the longer 777-9X, successors of the 777-200LR and 777-300ER respectively.
Emirates Airlines placed firm orders for 150 777X aircraft (115 777-9X and 35 777-8X) and took purchase rights on a further 50. Qatar Airways ordered 50 777-9Xs and Etihad Airways 25 (seventeen -9X plus eight -8X) and took options and purchase richts for twelve additional aircraft. Combined with Lufthansa’s earlier order for 34 777-9X aircraft, the total value of the agreements is more than $95 billion.

Emirates B777-9X
(Image: Boeing)


= 16 June 2014 =
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is certified for commercial service by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The FAA also grants Boeing an Amended Production Certificate, validating that the Boeing production system can produce 787-9s that conform to the design. EASA accepts FAA oversight of Boeing production certificates, just as the FAA accepts EASA oversight of European manufacturers' production certificates.

= 9 July 2014 =
Boeing delivers the first 787-9 Dreamliner to launch customer Air New Zealand. The aircraft is painted in a special black livery, and the first of 10 Dreamliners on order by Air New Zealand. The airline will operate the airplane on the Auckland-Perth route in October 2014 and to Tokyo and Shanghai in November 2014. At this time 26 airlines have ordered 409 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.

Boeing 787-9 Air New Zealand
(Photo: Boeing)

= 14 July 2014 =
Airbus officially launches the the A330neo. Two versions are to be developed: the A330-800neo and bigger A330-900neo, based on the A330-200 and A330-300 respectively. First deliveries are scheduled to start in Q4 2017. Next day, Avolon, a Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm, announces a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 15 A330neo aircraft. AirAsia X, the long haul affiliate of Asia’s largest low cost airline, signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purchase of 50 A330-900neo aircraft.

Airbus A330neo in colours of AirAsiaX
(Photo: Airbus)

= 30 September 2014 =
Airbus receives type certification for the A350-900 from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) after a 2,600 hours of flight testing by five aircraft. Certication from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification is expected to follow shortly.

Airbus A350 XWB formation
(Photo: Airbus)

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