Boeing delivers first 787 Dreamliner to UK-based airline

MANCHESTER, England - The Boeing Co. delivered its first 787 Dreamliner to the United Kingdom on Friday, company officials said.

The jetliner was the first of eight 787s ordered by Britain's Thomson Airways, said Boeing Co. spokeswoman Fiona O'Farrell.

Thousands gathered to watch Thomson's 787 Dreamliner arrive at Manchester Airport, completing its delivery flight from Paine Field in Everett.

Senior Thomson and Boeing executives were onboard the delivery flight.

The 787 Dreamliner is composed of light-weight composites and features numerous systems, engine and aerodynamic advancements, making it more efficient to operate compared with its competition.

The jet recently returned to service after being grounded worldwide for problems with smoldering batteries.

On July 8, Thomson's first long-haul Dreamliner flights will operate from Manchester to Florida and Glasgow to Cancun. Thomson will also operate services from London Gatwick and East Midlands airports. Later this year, the airline will introduce direct flights to Phuket, Thailand from the UK.

In other Boeing news, he U.K.-based TUI Travel company has announced a commitment to purchase 60 narrow-bodied Boeing 737 jets. The company said Friday it also has the option and right to buy another 90 Boeing 737s.

The holiday company says the current list price for the 60 jets is about $6.1 billion, but it says it obtained significant discounts. Delivery is expected to begin in January 2018 and continue until March, 2023.