The debut of the Boeing 787 in service took place in 2011 with All Nippon Airways and was not an isolated event. Since then, Japan has become the “land” of the Dreamliner, with the largest widebody fleet in the world.
The aircraft’s presence was reinforced last week when Japan Air Lines received its 50th Boeing 787, a 787-9 model, the most popular in the series.
Thanks to this new aircraft, Japan has a fleet of 124 Boeing 787, including 74 aircraft at ANA, the largest operator of the model in the world, 50 units at JAL and two at Zipair, a low-cost belonging to it.
The country that comes closest to these figures is China, which has 109 aircraft, according to Planespotters. Hainan Airlines is the largest operator of the Dreamliner in the Chinese market with 38 units, followed by China Southern Airlines, with 27 aircraft.
The USA, the birthplace of the 787, has only two customers of the model, American Airlines, with 45 planes, and United Airlines, which operates 63 jets of the three versions.
Largest Boeing 747 fleets
The preference of the largest Japanese airlines for the 787 Dreamliner is reminiscent of the period when another Boeing jetliner was also quite popular in the country, the 747.
Japan Air Lines, in fact, was the largest customer of ‘Jumbo’, having operated 114 aircraft (models 100, 200, 300 and 400) between 1970 and 2011.
ANA also had an expressive 747 fleet, with 46 units used until 2014. Both carriers also operated high-density class versions aimed at domestic flights.
The high cost of operation and increased competition on long-haul flights, however, made the Boeing 747 too big. In this scenario, Dreamliner proved to be a widebody of size, performance and cost more suitable for the Japanese.