United to Showcase 787-9 in Domestic Markets

As with the smaller 787-8, the US major will be the first North American operator of the larger 787-9 and is expected to receive its first aircraft next month.

As All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Air New Zealand prepare to launch passenger operations with their initial Boeing 787-9s, more details about United Airlines’ initial operations with the type have been revealed from data intelligence provider OAG via its OAG Schedules Analyser product.

As with the smaller 787-8, the US major will be the first North American operator of the larger 787-9 and is expected to receive its first aircraft next month. It is due to use its 787-9s to re-introduce non-stop flights between Los Angeles and Melbourne after a five and a half year gap from October 26, 2014 but before that will use the type in its home domestic market for crew familiarisation and to showcase the aircraft.

We reported last week United will deploy the aircraft on Los Angeles – Houston and Houston – Newark domestic rotations from September 20, 2014 for crew training purposes, as well as Los Angeles - Denver in November and December. However, according to OAG a number of revenue and non-revenue flights are planned through October that will see the aircraft fly around some of the carrier’s hubs.

Full details of these flights were revealed by our blog Airline Route yesterday and show the aircraft will make appearances at Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles Newark, San Diego. The proposed schedule of flights, which are subject to change, can be viewed here.

After the initial deployment on the Los Angeles – Melbourne route United confirms that as additional 787-9s arrive the type will replace a 787-8 on its Los Angeles – Shanghai route from March 5, 2015, initially on a four times weekly basis but growing to a daily schedules from May 8, 2015.

United says that with the fuselage stretched 20 feet longer than the 787-8, its 787-9s will fly more than 30 additional passengers and up to 300 nautical miles farther with the same exceptional environmental performance, including up to 20 per cent less fuel burn per seat and up to 20 per cent fewer emissions than similarly sized aircraft.  It will configure them with 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

“The 787-9 is an amazing aircraft that builds on the 787-8’s proven fuel efficiency, performance and customer comfort.  We are excited to add the 787-9 to our Dreamliner fleet as it gives us even more flexibility and range to capitalize on our extensive worldwide route network," said Ron Baur, vice president fleet, United Airlines.


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