Carrier Announces Its First Dreamliner Is Being Built
With the first customers now expecting their new Boeing 787s
within days, United Continental Holdings is excited enough about
the economic benefits of the plane to remind shareholders that
deliveries are imminent. United announced Wednesday that the first
of its Dreamliners has entered the assembly phase at Boeing's
facility in Everett, Washington. In early 2012, United will be the
first North American carrier to take delivery of the aircraft, the
first of 50 it has on order.
The first United 787 will be configured with 36 flat-bed seats
in BusinessFirst, 63 extra-legroom seats in Economy Plus and 120
seats in Economy. United says the aircraft's revolutionary cabin
environment and aerodynamic design allow it to fly farther, faster
and more efficiently, and that customers will experience improved
lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, increased cabin
humidity, reduced cabin pressure and enhanced ventilation systems,
among other passenger-friendly features.
"We are proud to be the first North American airline to receive
the 787, which will be a game changer for the new United and the
industry," said United Airlines President and CEO Jeff Smisek. "The
787 will be a very comfortable, customer pleasing aircraft, and
with its range, fuel efficiency and superb operating economics, the
787 will allow us to enter new long-haul markets and also replace
older, less-efficient widebody aircraft."
United Continental Holdings subsidiaries Continental and United
each ordered 25 Dreamliners. The company will announce the 787
flight schedule later this year.