Air New Zealand brought its new 787-9 to Sydney for the first time today kicking off a series of ad hoc route proving flights before the aircraft enters commercial service.

The airline says “the 787-9 is schedule to operate between Auckland and Sydney on a surprise and delight basis from 9 August.” Ad hoc services to Perth will start in September ahead of the formal launch of scheduled services on 15 October.

Flightglobal’s comprehensive report on why the -9 is more than just a stretch of the -8 is well worth a read.

Feature image courtesy of Jaryd Stock.