A celebration that began so well Monday morning at Sea-Tac Airport with the early arrival of All Nippon Airways first 787 Dreamliner flight to the U.S. had what you could call an extended ending.
The departure of the Boeing jetliner from Sea-Tac to Tokyos Narita Airport on Monday was postponed. The delay was posted on the airlines website late Monday afternoon and listed on their phone reservation system. ANA spokeswoman Nao Gunji said that, due to a faulty part in the cooling system, the jets return to Tokyo would be delayed 24 hours.
Passengers were never loaded on the aircraft, but were given food vouchers and asked to return later for an announcement.
The inaugural flight had been scheduled to leave Sea-Tac at 1:15 p.m. and arrive in Tokyo at 3:45 p.m. today. The flight crosses the International Date Line, thus the next-day arrival.
The Dreamliner flight from Tokyo to Sea-Tac arrived nearly an hour early Monday. The plane was greeted by Sea-Tac fire trucks spraying an archway of water through which the plane passed before reaching its gate at the airports South Satellite.
The daily Dreamliner flight is the second regularly scheduled 787 flight from a U.S. airport.
Japan Airlines has been operating a 787 from Boston to Tokyo for some time now.
The planes arrival was greeted by dignitaries from the airports owner, the Port of Seattle; from Boeing; and from ANA. A room full of media was treated to Asian canapes and soft drinks and a tour of the aircraft before the originally scheduled departure.
The aircraft is a big step forward technologically for both Boeing and ANA, the 787s launch customer. The aircraft is the first big airliner created largely from carbon fiber composite material instead of metal.
Composites light weight and corrosion resistance mean better fuel economy and less maintenance for airlines. The planes engines and upgraded aerodynamics translate to 20 percent better fuel economy than prior-generation midsize, wide-bodied aircraft.
The planes commercial debut was a homecoming of sorts. Boeing delivered the first of the Dreamliners to All Nippon a little more than a year ago at the Everett plant, where the plane is built. That delivery was more than three years behind schedule because of design and manufacturing issues.
Boeing has delivered more than two dozen of the planes now; 14 have gone to ANA.
The ANA 787s interior features business class seats in alternating rows of three and four seats. Those seats have a full lie-flat capability. Each seat is equipped with a flat-screen entertainment center and a writing table.
In the economy section, the plane is arranged with two seats on the outside of the two aisles with four seats between those aisles.
The Seattle Times contributed to this report.