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Craig's Corner: The game-changer is on its way

As projects for 2014 begin in earnest this month, the YVR community is buzzing with the news that we’ll see our first Boeing 787 Dreamliners touch down this year. In fact, so many of our airline partners will be introducing service on this game-changing aircraft that we’ve dubbed 2014 The Year of the Dreamliner at YVR.

First on the ground will be Japan Airlines (JAL), which lands its inaugural flight on February 3, 2014. We’re working on a special welcome for this aircraft, and I know that plane-spotters and aviation enthusiasts will be out in full force that day to capture a neat photo or two of the plane.  Stay tuned to our blog for more details on this inaugural and others. (Word on the street is that Air Canada will be sending a Dreamliner our way sometime this year.)

Much has been discussed in recent years of the Dreamliner’s production challenges, and I think what’s been lost in that chatter is how truly revolutionary this aircraft is. A few exterior design features to watch for on February 3: swallow wingtips, which make an incredible difference to performance; a sparrow-style aircraft nose, which is actually one single piece of composite that is baked and set in a giant oven at Boeing’s factory just south of Seattle, Washington; and scalloped nacelles, or engine casings, which reduce engine noise and make for a calmer cabin. And – if you’ll indulge me in a bit of pilot geometry – the dihedral of the wings is quite unique. This means that when observed nose-on, the Dreamliner’s wings angle upward quite dramatically, making for a striking appearance in flight.

Revolutionary design continues inside the aircraft, with large, adjustable-tint windows that offer great views for all passengers- even those in the middle of the cabin.  More leg room, spacious stow area for carry-on bags and incredible LED lighting all contribute to a great in-flight experience.  If you’re interested in more detail, Boeing’s Dreamliner design highlights site offers some great interactive information and video about this aircraft. 

I cannot wait to board this new aircraft at YVR. In fact, one of the commitments I made early on is to fly on all of our new services, and aircraft! This means a busy year of travel ahead, with JAL followed by All Nippon Airways inaugural flight to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in March, and Icelandair’s new Vancouver-Reykjavik service beginning May 13. Luckily, there’s some room in my passport. 

Although it’s only January, I suspect that many of you are already dreaming of winter escapes to sunny climes or planning spring break adventures. Whatever your destination and no matter the aircraft type, I wish you a safe and pleasant trip through our airport.


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