United Airlines Boeing 747 Network 1970 - 2017

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Star Alliance member United Airlines today (07NOV17) is operating its final Boeing 747(-400) passenger service, with one-time special San Francisco – Honolulu flight, a nod to its original Boeing 747 “Friend Ship” (-100 variant) inaugural flight on 23JUL70 (Registration N4703U, “William M. Allen”) on the very same route.

The original United Airlines Boeing 747-100 inaugural flight schedule on 23JUL70 as follow. (Source: United Air Lines Timetable, San Francisco, Oakland & San Jose edition, effective 01JUL70)

UA181 SFO0900 – 1105HNL 747 D
UA182 HNL1255 – 2045SFO 747 D

At the time, United operates 3 daily San Francisco – Honolulu and 1 daily San Francisco – Hilo.

Despite United’s very first Boeing 747 passenger service operated on 23JUL70, the actual first 747 flight under United Continental Holdings, including the former Continental Airlines, was operated on 26JUN70, Chicago – Los Angeles – Honolulu. Continental 747 was nicknamed “The Proud Bird of the Pacific” during its short-lived operation in the 1970s.  The following is the list of United Airlines’ operational network spanning 5 continents on scheduled basis (including Continental/CO and People Express/PE) from the past 47 years with various Boeing 747 variants, -100/-200/-400/-SP (including United’s aircraft purchase from Pan American World Airways, as well as Continental’s merger with People Express in mid-1980s).

North American schedule, 1970 – 1978 (selected seasons)

With limited flight schedule data from United and Continental timetables from 1970 and 1978, only selected season is shown during this period. All information, displayed below, is based on published schedule. All information is based on published listing, where discrepancy occurs on selected routing and frequency.

Domestic Routes, 1979 – 2017

The following is the list of United, Continental and People Express’ Boeing 747 operation. In the early era the code “747” was used for both 747-100/-200 variant without further specific identification in the OAG schedule listing. Continental re-introduced Boeing 747 service followed by the merger with People Express in mid-80s, and phased out by early 1999. United retired its Boeing 747SP by 1994, 747 Classics by December 2000.  (The next section, Boeing 747 International routes, will also highlight People Express’ operation from 1985, based on available data) Data from 1979 is listed in full, via the OAG.

Prior to the one-time special flight on 07NOV17, United’s last domestic Boeing 747 service was Chicago O’Hare – San Francisco one-way flight on 28JUL17, operating as:

UA2704 ORD1830 – 2051SFO

On 07NOV17, United Airlines’ final 747 operational schedule for San Francisco – Honolulu is:

UA747 SFO1100 – 1445HNL

Star Alliance member Air New Zealand serves as codeshare flight as NZ9145.

International Routes, 1983 – 2017

United launched its first international route (excluding Canada) in 1983, with service to Tokyo. In 1985, United purchased Pan American World Airways’ Trans-Pacific network, including 18 aircraft, which later received approval. United assumed these routes in March 1986, based on published schedule, however some routes may have launched earlier than this date. United received its first Boeing 747-400 in 1989, however the airline did not specify the corresponding code "744" until December 1990, based on schedule listing in the OAG. United operated its last Boeing 747 international service on 29OCT17, Seoul Incheon to San Francisco.

In the international routes section, Osaka includes Itami and Kansai Airport, Seoul includes Gimpo and Incheon Airport, Shanghai includes Hongqiao and Pu Dong Airport.

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