American Airlines welcomed its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet Friday evening at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
The plane departed Boeing's Everett, Wash., facility and three hours later landed at DFW Airport just after 7 p.m.
Eight people were on board; four American Airlines pilots, a Boeing pilot, two engineers and a ground school instructor.
The maiden flight was delayed on the ground in Washington by four hours because of software issues and paperwork.
“Better late than never, and the flight was wonderful. We did have a little issue with software up at Boeing, but our team and theirs, they worked hard and they got it done and we made it tonight,” said Captain Bill Elder, American Airlines 787 Fleet Training Manager.
Elder flew the plane during the second half of the three-hour trip after Captain Jim Dees, American Airlines’ 787 Fleet Captain Manager, flew the first leg.
The Dreamliner will be housed at American Airlines' maintenance hangar where workers will finish the interior and make other modifications before it's ready for passenger travel in the second quarter of 2015.
Compared to the company's 777, the upgraded jet is more fuel efficient, seats more passengers and boasts innovative amenities, including:
- Wider seats
- Noise cancellation technology
- Improved carry-on storage
- Buttons that tint windows
- Better cabin lighting
The Dreamliner can carry more than 250 passengers more than 9,000 miles and the Boeing 787 is about 20 percent more fuel efficient.
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“The passengers are going to love it. So comfortable inside. It will provide them a great ride. It's an efficient airplane. It's going to provide profitability for the airline going forward,” said Dees.
American Airlines is training 120 pilots to fly the 42 aircraft now on order.
Passengers should begin flying on the jet in and out of North Texas in March. The first plane will fly domestic routes before being assigned to international flights.
NBC 5's Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.