American Airlines officially welcomed its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner last week, making it the second airline in the United States to receive the next-generation aircraft. American took delivery of the airplane, a 787-8, on Thursday Jan. 22 at the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash. The new plane touched down in Dallas/Fort Worth airport, American’s headquarters, the following evening.

American expects its first 787 to enter revenue service in the second quarter of 2015, flying domestically between American's hubs for several weeks before being launched on international flights. The airline has placed firm orders for 42 Boeing 787 aircraft, with the right to acquire an additional 58; it will take delivery of both the 787-8 and 787-9 as part of the 42 firm orders.

The 787 is composed primarily of composite materials, thus making it lighter and more cost-effective to fly. The order is part of a $2 billion improvement plan launched by the airline aimed to modernize its commercial fleet.