Some good news for United Airlines.
On August 19, their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner took off from Boeing’s Everett field in, Washington state for its first test flight. The plane cruised around Seattle for three hours as all aspects of the craft’s backup and safety systems were checked. The plane will be delivered to United in late September and will be followed by 49 others.
United will be the fifth airline in the world to get the 787 (after ANA, JAL, Ethiopian, LAN) and the first US carrier to have it. They will be flying Denver to Tokyo from March, 2013. I am not sure where I will see it between September and March. but United have said they be rotating the jet on a series of domestic sectors. It will also be deployed on Houston to Lagos in tandem with the 777 on that service. The one flight we will not see is the originally promised Houston to Auckland. This is even despite Hawaiian Air’s decision to start serving the New Zealand city.
United have opted for 219 seats in a three class layout on its 787s. There are 36 Business First seats, up front arranged 2/2/2 for the first six rows. This is followed by 63 economy plus seats including an exit row and 120 Economy seats arranged 3/3/3.
This compares to 270 seats in two classes on Ethiopian and 186 on JAL and 144 on ANA.