Boeing delivers first 787-9 Dreamliner to Air New Zealand

Boeing delivered its first 787-9 Dreamliner Wednesday to launch customer Air New Zealand, the company said.

The milestone was marked by a celebration in Everett, Wash., attended by about 1,000 employees, airline executives and guests.

Spirit AeroSystems builds the plane’s composite nose section in Wichita.

The delivery of the 787-9 is the first of 10 planes on order from Air New Zealand and are part of the airline’s fleet modernization effort.

The 787-9 is a derivative of Boeing’s 787-8. The version is stretched by 20 feet and will carry up to 40 more passengers an additional 450 nautical miles, Boeing said.

Boeing has orders for 409 787-9s from 26 customers. That accounts for 40 percent of all 787 orders, it said.