United Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, becoming the North American launch operator for the long-awaited aircraft.
United inherited orders for 50 787s in its merger with Continental and plans to use the new aircraft on international services to Africa, Asia and Europe. The airline said its first 787 will be temporarily assigned to domestic routes through to the end of the year.
United expects to have the aircraft in service within a month following a training and certification program. The plane is configured with 36 seats in business class, 72 in economy plus and 111 in economy.
Meanwhile, Boeing has announced an order from All Nippon Airlines for 11 787-9 Dreamliners valued at US$2.7 billion. The order brings 787 launch customer ANA’s total Dreamliner orders to 36 787-8s and 30 787-9s.
ANA also announced plans to launch 787 services from Tokyo Narita to San Jose, California from January 2013 and said it would switch existing services to Seattle and Beijing to 787s in October.