All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 takes off for the new airplane's inaugural commercial flight to Hong Kong at Narita International Airport in Narita, east of Tokyo, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye) By Itsuo Inouye
HONG KONG (AP) -- The first commercial flight for Boeing's 787 jet has landed, after a 4-hour, eight-minute flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong.
The jet, nicknamed The Dreamliner by Boeing Corp., was flown by Japan's All Nippon Airways and was packed with aviation reporters and enthusiasts -- some of whom paid thousands of dollars for the privilege.
The first flight of the long-range 787 has been highly anticipated, in part because it comes after more than three years of manufacturing delays.
The jet is built out of lightweight materials that improve its fuel-efficiency. Its interior is designed in ways to make passengers more comfortable, including larger windows and better lighting.
The first U.S. airline to the fly the 787 will be United Continental Holdings Inc. It plans to fly the 787 between Houston and Auckland, New Zealand, starting in the second half of 2012.