The article was first published on December 23, 2020.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner became a hit amongst airlines when the manufacturer launched the program in April 2004. The wide-body aircraft, announced with ground-breaking technology at the time, has become Boeing’s second-most popular twin-aisle aircraft program in terms of gross orders. The 787 only lags behind the Boeing 777. It also had its fair share of issues throughout the years, including the roll-out of an empty shell of an aircraft on July 8, 2007 (7/8/7).

Nevertheless, airlines have not swayed away from the Dreamliner and it has not lost its popularity and importance amongst carriers across all four corners of the world. So, which airlines operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner?

Popular middle child

Boeing has released three variants of the Dreamliner, namely the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10. The aircraft manufacturer released the smallest of the three into service first in October 2011. The 787-9 and 787-10 joined active service in August 2014 and April 2018, respectively.

The 787-9, despite being second to enter the market, has become the most popular variant:

 

However, the largest variant, the 787-10, has not gathered as much popularity as its smaller derivatives. The largest aircraft in the Dreamliner family seems to have found a home in a particular region, as airlines in Asia, and in particular, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, make up a large chunk of gross orders of the 787-10. Meanwhile, the smallest 787-8 seems like a hit or a miss: airlines in particular regions either order it or not at all:

 

In terms of operators, some airlines were seemingly keen to take delivery of the Boeing 787. By far, All Nippon Airways (ANA) of Japan, the launch customer of the aircraft, is the biggest operator with 74 units in its fleet. Out of the top five biggest operators of the Dreamliner, four are either from the US or Japan, showcasing just how popular the aircraft type is in those countries. In total, the top five operators account for 267 Boeing 787 deliveries out of the total 992 or 26.9% as of November 30, 2020.

 
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As we celebrate the fact that the Boeing 787-9 first flew on September 17, 2020, can you separate the 787-8, 787-9, and the 787-10? Take the quiz and find out!