United Airlines 787-9
United Airlines has taken delivery of the first of 26 Boeing 787-9s it has on order. The Chicago-based carrier is the first North American airline to receive the 787-9, which is 20 feet longer than the 787-8.
United said the 787-9, which can fly 300 miles farther than the 787-8, will give it “more flexibility and range.” The airline will have 12 787-8s in its fleet by the end of this year. It also expects to receive one more 787-9 by the end of the year.
United plans to briefly put the 787-9 in domestic service in late September, flying primarily between Houston and Los Angeles, before launching it on 6X-weekly Los Angeles-Melbourne service on Oct. 26.
United noted Los Angeles-Melbourne will become the longest Dreamliner flight in the world. Flying time will be approximately 15 hours and 45 minutes westbound to Melbourne and 14 hours and 35 minutes eastbound to Los Angeles. The aircraft be configured with 252 seats: 48 business/first class seats and 204 economy seats, including 88 premium economy seats
United said all of its 787-9s will be equipped with factory-installed Wi-Fi connectivity. The airline “plans to equip the vast majority of its mainline fleet with Wi-Fi by mid-2015,” it said.