First Boeing 787 flight from Sea-Tac delayed



SEATAC, Wash. - The first flight from Sea-Tac Airport of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been delayed until Tuesday because of a mechanical problem, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News has learned.


All Nippon Airways was expected to start daily 787 flights on the Tokyo-Seattle route Monday, but reporter Gary Horcher -- who was supposed to be on the flight -- noticed before its scheduled departure that mechanics were examining the plane.


Horcher said mechanics were working on the belly of the Dreamliner and that there was a leak in the cooling system.


Passengers were notified there was a delay. 


"It's unfortunate for … ANA and Boeing, but you know, the big maiden voyage, the big hype that was happening for this flight to Tokyo. It did fly over here from Tokyo -- so I mean, it got here," said Bill Scott, a passenger.


"I mean they've been taking the food off of the trucks there, and I saw the flight attendants come off. So that pretty much tells me that plane is not going anywhere at least for a while. And they're just kind of telling us every half hour, 45 minutes they might have information, but they don't want to tell us what it is," said Dylan, another passenger, who declined to give his last name.


Earlier in the day, fire trucks spraying rainbows of water greeted the first Boeing 787 to land in commercial service at Sea-Tac.


The Dreamliner took its passengers to a terminal gate and prepared for the afternoon departure back to Tokyo.


A number of airline, Boeing and Port of Seattle officials were on hand to celebrate daily service with the 787 on the Seattle-Tokyo route event.


ANA was Boeing's launch customer for the new fuel-efficient widebody twinjet. The airline started the Seattle-Tokyo route in July, using a Boeing 777.


Travelers who don’t want to go to Tokyo but do want to ride on a Dreamliner will have to go to cities such as San Francisco or Los Angeles to catch a 787, which typically, only fly international routes.


From the beginning, it was critical to the state, to Boeing employees and to their friends and neighbors, that the 787 be built in Washington, so lawmakers in Olympia gave a tax break for every Boeing jetliner constructed there --  more than $3 billion over 20 years.


After long delays and a machinist’s union strike in 2008, Boeing built a second assembly line in South Carolina, but most of the jets are assembled in Everett.