United to Debut Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Some Domestic Routes
By Theresa Norton Masek
August 30, 2012 12:54 PM
United Airlines plans to fly its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners temporarily on domestic routes starting Nov. 4 from Houston Intercontinental Airport to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago O’Hare, Newark, Cleveland, Denver and Washington Dulles. International service will begin in December and January. The airline expects to take delivery of the first five Dreamliners this year from its total order for 50. It is scheduling more than 470 flight segments for the 787s in the U.S. in the last two months of 2012.
United’s Boeing 787 flights go on sale beginning Sept. 1. In October, United will announce plans for the official first commercial 787 flights, which are expected to occur before Nov. 4 but only after proving/validation flights and training are complete. “While the Dreamliner’s superior operating economics make it ideally suited for international routes, we’re pleased to have this opportunity to introduce it on domestic flights between many of our hub cities allowing both customers and employees to experience this revolutionary aircraft and its many unique benefits,” said Grant Whitney, United’s managing director of scheduling.
As the first airline to operate the 767 and 777, United said it is continuing tradition by adding the 787 to its fleet several years ahead of its North American competitors. Configured with 36 seats in BusinessFirst, 72 seats in Economy Plus and 111 seats in Economy, the Dreamliner is designed for operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions. It will have improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems.
United previously announced that it will operate nonstop daily service on the Dreamliner between Los Angeles and Tokyo-Narita, beginning Jan. 3, as well as five-day-a-week service between Houston and Lagos, Nigeria starting Jan. 7. New daily service between Los Angeles and Shanghai will begin March 30. The new routes are in addition to previously announced service from Denver to Tokyo-Narita, starting March 31. United will also operate daily, nonstop 787 service from Houston to Amsterdam and London Heathrow on a temporary basis. Houston-Amsterdam service begins Dec. 4 and Houston-Heathrow service begins Feb. 4.