Flight to remember

I’ve taken countless flights during my career at Boeing. But I can tell you the one I took today may be the most special.

I had the privilege of being on the first 787 to return to commercial service with our new battery system. Ethiopian Airlines flight 801 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi landed earlier today.

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Here’s me just before takeoff from Addis Ababa.

The flight left on time, landed early and was truly perfect. Many of the passengers had no idea they’d be flying on the 787 until the bus dropped them off at the air stairs.

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Passengers board the first 787 to resume revenue service.

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Flight crew poses with Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam (middle).

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Passengers on board Ethiopian Airlines flight 801.

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I was able to conduct a few media interviews during the flight.

It was a fantastic, party-like atmosphere as we boarded. As one surprised passenger told me after realizing he’d be flying on the Dreamliner—“this is history.”

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The airplane sits under sunny skies after landing in Nairobi.

We got some hard questions about the battery system from the media who flew with us, but they were the right questions. And more than words could say— the most powerful statement came when the airplane made a flawless flight.

Congratulations to Ethiopian Airlines for another first. First to fly the 787 in Africa—and the first to return the 787 to service. You can always track the latest 787 updates at this link.

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Comments (29)

Jasper (Tacoma):

Great news Randy. Congratulations to everyone involved in putting the 787 back in the air. I look forward to seeing it back at Seatac airport soon.

Sandeep Deshpande (Mumbai):

Wish your aircraft all the best for safe journeys ahead

wesley (St.John"s):

I'm so elated to hear the news!..these special birds were born to soar!

bongani ndhlovu (pretoria, south africa):

it's milestones like these that swell me up with pride. proudly boeing fanatic, proudly african. it feels good!

Sarret (Beijing):

What a great news!I am really looking forward to flying on the Dreamliner of China Southern Airlines. Congratulations Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines!

Warren E Faidley (Tucson, Arizona):

I will soon be 80 years of age and one of my wishes to do while I still can is to fly on a long trip in one of these wonerfull 787 aircraft that my youngest son helped build in Evert Wsshington.

Wankobo (CH):

Boeing represents the best of America.

Rajendra Giri (Belchertown, MA, USA):

What a great accomplishment. Congratulation Boeing and its partners for getting back 787 in the sky again. Looking forward flying on the Dreamliner.

Peter (Guelph, Canada):

Congratulations Randy!

I have followed the 787 from conception and it made me sick the way that the media distorted the issue with the battery. I have a unique perspective...growing up in an aviation family, you could say that jet fuel is in my blood. My Grandfather was one of the primary engineers who designed the Lockheed L-1011...as I'm sure you know, it was an aircraft with it's share of hurdles to overcome...the 787 is as revolutionary today as the TriStar was in 1972 and Boeing should be proud of the steps taken to ensure that the aircraft is a passenger pleasing profit maker for the airlines that will rely on this workhorse for years to come. The dedication that thousands of Boeing employees have put into this aircraft is nothing short of remarkable and the travelling public can go forward with confidence knowing that this aircraft will become the gold standard for performance, reliability and comfort.

Congratulations Boeing!

Antônio Davi Roland de Brito (Manaus):

I am soo happy ! Great news ! Hope to see 787 landing in Fortaleza International Airport during Confederations Cup and WC 2014 !

Rafael Rocha (Hillside,NJ):


Im so happy to see this big bird flying back in the sky !!!

Tom (Kona, Big Island, Hawaii, USA):

If its not Boeing, I'm not going!

Norman (Long Beach, CA):

The 787 is back and Ethiopian Airlines is the first airlines to bring the 787 back into the air. Congrats to everyone involved in the 787s triumphant return.

Oleg (Lithuania,town Klaipeda):

Hello all people all the world. I like very much a 2 Boeing 787-8 dreamliner and i have Boeing 787-9 dreamlinet it is I think the best planes .I have in my collection. and i happy hearing about Ethiopian airlines was now begining fly in this month with passengers again.That planes looking very beautyfull.I wish succeses to Ethiopian airlines who now using the boeing 787-8 dreamliner and soon will get newest version 787-9 i hope to first deliveries to New Zealand Airlines in next year.

MAC70016 (West Hills, CA):

Back to where the 787 belongs...in the sky, not on the ground!!

George M (Long Island, NY):

Great news that the 787 is cleared to fly again. Godspeed to all who fly on her and long may she grace the air.

SSG S. (JBER-Richardson Alaska):

Welcome back 787 we've missed you. God speed!!

Ruedi schoch (Winterthur, switzerland):

It is so great to see that wonderful plane back in the air. I hate all the media which made that plane bad. If i am travelling i am choosing just flights who are operated with a Boeing jet, thats the reaso why i am flying almost with Delta. Great job Boeing

Rubens Takemassa Sirax (Sao Paulo, SP - BRAZIL):

Welcome back to the skies, Dreamliner!

Congratulations to all the people that worked very, very hard to enhance the safety of passengers and personnel involved in the 787's operations.

I really hope to fly aboard the Dreamliner someday...

AJ (New Jersey):

Randy, another wonderful journal entry and I am so proud and happy to hear the news of the 787 back in the sky! Can't wait for my first flight! Boeing = #1 !

Pande Sutawan (Ubud, Bali - Indonesia):

I am so happy to see this beautiful bird back to sky, and wish to fly Boeing 787 one day and land in Bali Ngurah Rai Airport.

Congratulations Boeing....

Thomas Braxton (Philadelphia, Pa):

Congratulations Boeing for getting the "Dream" back in the air again, I think it'll be a workhorse going forward "A Big Attaboy"

Victor Olick (Nairobi, Kenya):

Having been an ardent fun of Boeing, I want to commend you for your efforts of making the great 787 even better. Kenya was delighted to receive a robust and a promising aircraft. I've always been impressed with your dedication and problem solving skills. We look forward to many more years of unprecedented Boeing innovations, and wish your company the success that it deserves.

Peter (Great Britain):

It is just great, 787 Dream liner and the Queen of the Skies 747-8. a marriage made in Heaven. Welcome back. Boeing your the GREAT.

Sam (US):

787 is the most beautiful plane both inside and outside in my opinion. Additionally, it's the most economical! Superior style and performance...that what you want in all great products.........

wondwosen paulos (Seattle,Washington):

Congradulations to both boeing and the Ethiopian airlines.You both make history.I am Ethiopian and I am happy Ethiopian airlines is the first to fly boing 787 dreamliner back on air.I heard one of the co pilet of the dreamlier of ethiopian airlines saying they do not have any problem on their boeing 787 dreamliner like the one that happen in Japan on his interview in kenya.I think most of the issues are mis reported and I am glad boeing is investing the issue.

liu hao nan (P.R.China):

The troubles of your former battery system did not diminish my respect to Boeing people, and you did not betray my hope!

Ronald Lee Cuie II (Seattle, WA):

Ethiopian Airlines is very sharp. They are opening up a lot of doors to offer wonderful opportunities both locally and abroad. Congrats. to EA and their 787...

Ife (Abuja, Nigeria):

Congratulations! I was on the same plane a few months ago from Dubai to Addis.

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