The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently awarded Boeing an extended operations certificate for the 787 Dreamliner. According to Bloomberg, the certificate now means that carriers who fly the jet can send the planes as far as 5.5 hours from an airport. Previously, the furthest distance the jets could travel from an airport was 3 hours.
In addition to longer flights, the FAA ruling also means that new routings can be issued for the jet including nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Melbourne that United Airlines are slated to begin in October.
Bloomberg reported that the newer, longer-range version of the 787, the 787-9, will now be permitted to fly polar routes. These are often used for flights between the U.S. and many top corporate and business travel destinations including Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai. Because those routes fly across the North Pole, the jets need an extended operations certification because airports used in emergencies are scattered. Several 787 flights by carriers such as United Airlines and Air Canada use North Pacific routes between North America, China and Japan while flights between North America, Europe and Africa are typically routed closer to Greenland and Iceland in case of an emergency.
Following years of delays, the 787 Dreamliner was introduced into commercial service in 2011. In 2013, the plane was grounded by the FAA for three months so the battery system could be redesigned after they were found to overheat and potentially burn, so the news of the extended operations certificate was a welcome one for the plane maker, the source reported.
Flying is fun again
Nancy Rissky, Vice President of Account Management at Travel and Transport was lucky enough to fly on the 787 Dreamliner on a route from Chicago to Denver in August 2013. She boarded her first class seat, and after seeing the jet at the manufacturing facility in Seattle earlier in the year, was excited to take to the air.
There are high ceilings, a number of different lighting colors, large galleys and big windows that can be controlled to let in however much light you desire. The lay-flat seats in first class also come with a down blanket, full-size pillow and large personal television screen in addition to a remote control, power station for headphones, USB outlets and computer connections.
Rissky recommends travelers fly aboard the Dreamliner for a truly exciting experience.