United Airlines [UA] is the first North American carrier to take delivery of a stretched Dreamliner, the Boeing 787-9, The aircraft is the first of 26 stretched Dreamliners UA has on order, says Aviation World News.
"The 787-9 builds on fuel efficiency, coupled with customer comfort while giving even more flexibility and range," said United's Vice President of Fleet Ron Baur.
"Last year our passengers gave the 787 the highest customer satisfaction scores of any aircraft in our fleet, and we know they'll enjoy what the 787-9 has to offer.
" The airline's technicians will now perform United-specific software installations and hardware upgrades. United pilots will then fly the aircraft to the airline's Houston hub for additional flights before it is expected to enter domestic service in late September.
The 787-9's extended range – 8,550 miles compared to the 787-8's 8,200 – will service and launch its Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, service on October 26, the airline's first regularly scheduled international deployment of the aircraft. It is the longest Dreamliner route in the world to date.
In advance of the Melbourne route launch, United will primarily fly the aircraft between Houston and Los Angeles. United's 787-9 will be configured with 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
Wi-Fi on the 787-9 United's 787-9 fleet comes with factory-installed Wi-Fi connectivity. Starting with this aircraft delivery, all of the airline's subsequent Dreamliners, including the -8 and -10 variants, will be delivered with Wi-Fi. United currently has Wi-Fi on more than 300 aircraft, including all of its Airbus and Boeing 747 aircraft, and plans to equip the vast majority of its mainline fleet with Wi-Fi by mid-2015. -
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