United’s inaugural direct service from Los Angeles to Melbourne touched down at Tullamarine at 0757 on Tuesday, completing the world’s longest Boeing 787 route in 15 hours and 10 minutes.
At 6,883nm (12,748km), the route eclipses Ethiopian Airlines’ Addis Ababa to Toronto service, which comes in at 6,217nm (11,514km).
Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth congratulated United, which is first North American carrier to operate the stretched 787-9, on the start of the new service and record route.
“It’s exciting for us to see the 787 do exactly what we promised our customers it would do – open up new routes all over the world,” Tinseth said on his Randy’s Journal blog.
The return flight, UA99, was due to depart Melbourne at 1015 local time.
United has scheduled a combination of Boeing 787-9 and 787-8s for the new Melbourne-Los Angeles route.
Qantas is now the only other airline offering direct flights between the Victorian capital and Los Angeles, after Virgin Australia withdrew its three times a week services on October 25.