Air New Zealand has ordered the Rolls Royce powered aircraft. Boeing has yet to start F&R/ETOPs testing on the GE powered version of the aircraft but that should start this month. I still believe that Boeing should deliver the first GE powered 787-9 to United Airlines late next month.
There has been some questions if the FAA would grant the Amended Type certificate to Boeing due to two separate issues: 1) a need to re-design a capacitor in the RAT and 2) an altitude select knob on the Mode Control Panel (MCP) that doesn't have enough torque and can lead to an error in setting attitude as directed by ATC. Boeing has asked for a time limited exemptions from these two issues and apparently the FAA and EASA has agreed. Flightglobal has an a detailed explanation of the issues in an article here.
I do anticipate that Boeing will be able to deliver 12 787-9 this year as follows:
Air New Zealand - 3
ANA - 2
Etihad Airways - 2
Scoot - 1
United Airlines - 2
Virgin Atlantic - 2
Here's Boeing Press Release announcing the award of the Amended Type Certificate:
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Earns FAA, EASA Certification
Newest commercial airplane nears delivery on track
EVERETT, Wash., June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787-9 Dreamliner has been certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for commercial service. Boeing is now in the final stages of preparing for the first 787-9 delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand.
"Certification is the culmination of years of hard work and a rigorous flight-test program that started with the 787-9's first flight last September," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "With this validation that the airplane is ready for commercial operations, Boeing along with our airline and leasing customers now look forward to introducing the newest member of the Dreamliner family to passengers around the world."
To earn certification for the 787-9, Boeing undertook a comprehensive test program with five airplanes and more than 1,500 hours of flight testing, plus ground and laboratory testing. Following the rigorous and thorough certification process, the FAA and EASA each granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate for the 787-9, certifying that the design complies with aviation regulations and is safe and reliable.
"Throughout 787-9 development, the dedication and discipline of our entire global team drove outstanding performance," said Mark Jenks, vice president, 787 Airplane Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "From the start of assembly last spring to a flawless first flight and now our on-time certification, we thank everyone on the Boeing and partner team as well as our customers for making 787-9 development so successful."
The FAA also has granted Boeing an Amended Production Certificate, validating that the Boeing production system can produce 787-9s that conform to the design. EASA accepts FAA oversight of Boeing production certificates, just as the FAA accepts EASA oversight of European manufacturers' production certificates.
The new 787-9 Dreamliner will complement and extend the super-efficient 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 will fly more passengers and more cargo farther with the same exceptional environmental performance — 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized airplanes. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Twenty-six customers around the world have ordered 413 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.