Randy Babbitt, Federal Aviation Administration administrator, presented Boeing with certification declaring the long-delayed aircraft fit for service at a ceremony under sunny, blue skies in Everett, Washington, north of Seattle.
Boeing will make the first delivery of its plastics-based airplane next month to Japan's All Nippon Airways Co Ltd. The first Dreamliner will arrive at Tokyo's Haneda airport on Sept. 28.
The twin-engined, wide-bodied Dreamliner, which promises to raise the bar for fuel efficiency and passenger comfort, is about three years behind its original schedule and at least several billion dollars over budget by some outside estimates.
"It's momentous. A few years back, no one thought this day would come. We pretty much have one step left and that's delivery," said Alex Hamilton, managing director with EarlyBirdCapital.
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