KLM originally scheduled to introduce its version of Boeing 787-9 in October 2015. The plans have been changed.
The Dutch airline originally placed its Boeing 787 order in 2011 with 21 to be delivered from starting in October 2015 (Coverage of order and configuration – August 22, 2015).
The new aircraft will now join the Winter schedule 26 days later than originally scheduled. Until November 22, 2015 (moved from November 15, 2015), the flight will continued to be operated by an Airbus A330-200 featuring older generation seat configuration and on board amenities. Since this aircraft has 18 less seats than the Boeing 787-9 (246 vs 264), some passengers may need to be rebooked and seat assignments may be changed.
The daily flight has the following schedule and flight details:
Note that the flight will make a short one hour stop at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) en route to BAH and back. The Amsterdam based airline is allowed to pick up passengers between these two airports with its fifth freedom rights (which in a nutshell allows a home carrier to pick up passengers in a foreign country en route to another foreign country).
While there were no official reasons given for the slight delay, it is not surprising to observe an airline spending additional time on training and testing to ensure that crews at the airport and on board are well prepared for the new passenger experience.
For example, at the airport, agents will need to know more about seating arrangements to ensure that family with babies can be assigned bulkhead seats with bassinet. Ground crews will need to gain new knowledge on operational and maintenance procedures to work on re-fuelling, tolling, etc.
On board, dedicated flight crew will need to train on how to operate new ovens and in flight entertainment system, for instance. Additionally, they will need to make aware of how WiFi would work.
KLM is expected to have big celebration in welcoming the Boeing 787-9 into commercial operations. Look for this space for more information.