United Continental Holdings to offer flights aboard the Boeing 787 DreamlinerUnited Continental Holdings to offer flights aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Premium travelers who regularly purchase business class tickets for United Continental Holdings flights will soon have a chance to fly aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The new additions to the carrier's fleet are currently being assembled at Boeing's facility in Washington, and are set to be introduced in early 2012. This will make United the first North American airline to take delivery of the Dreamliner.
"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 Jeff Smisek, United's president and chief executive officer. "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."
According to Boeing's website, the 787 Dreamliner is a super-efficient airplane that is designed to carry between 210 and 250 passengers on routes that cover 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles. The aircraft's build also allows it to move faster and perform in a manner that is more environmentally efficient than many current planes.
Onboard United's 787 Dreamliner, travelers who purchase business class airfares will have their pick of 36 flat-bed seats in the airline's BusinessFirst cabin. Australian Business Traveller reported that while the airline has yet to reveal the plane's exact cabin layout, it is likely that the seats will be arranged in six rows of the 2-2-2 formation.
According to the news source, the airline's first 787 Dreamliner will handle the route between Houston, Texas, and Auckland, New Zealand.
Some of the features passengers will find aboard this new aircraft include better lighting, larger windows and overhead bins, as well as enhanced ventilation systems. United and Continental have each ordered 25 of the planes.
The business class service that is currently offered on United flights provides premium passengers with a selection of in-flight dining and entertainment options. At the airport, individuals who hold business class fares can take advantage of priority check-in and boarding, in addition to the services that are offered at the United Arrivals Suite, which is available at select locations.