Boeing and United Airlines announced Sept. 24 the delivery of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner. United is the first airline in North America to take delivery of the 787.
Jeff Smisek, president and CEO of United, said, “As the North American launch customer, we are delighted to be getting our first 787 Dreamliner. As we continue to build the world’s leading airline, we are excited for our customers and co-workers to experience this game-changing aircraft.”
United has announced it will initially use the 787 on international routes to Africa, Asia and Europe. The airline will conduct temporary domestic flights before transitioning its 787 fleet to international service in late 2012.
“This 787 delivery represents the continuation in the more than 80-year partnership between our two companies,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “United now begins a new chapter with the 787 Dreamliner, the most technologically advanced commercial jetliner ever built. It reinforces United’s commitment to be the world’s leading airline by providing unmatched fuel efficiency and passenger comfort.”
Made from composite materials, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public. In addition to providing airlines with unprecedented fuel economy and low operating costs, the 787 features a host of new technologies that greatly enhance the passenger experience.
This delivery marks the first of 50 Dreamliners that United has on order. The airline’s 787 cabin is configured with 36 seats in United BusinessFirst, 72 seats in United Economy Plus and 111 seats in United Economy. Customers will be more comfortable with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other features.
United’s first Dreamliner is expected to arrive in Houston later this week to begin a month-long training and certification program including non-commercial flights to each of United’s domestic hubs.