United Airlines has become the first North American carrier to take delivery of the Boeing 787-9, a stretched version of the Dreamliner that will allow the airline to accommodate more customers and further capitalize on its worldwide route network.
The aircraft is the first of 26 of the newest member of the Dreamliner family United has on order.
"The 787-9 builds on the Dreamliner's fuel efficiency and customer comfort while giving us even more flexibility and range," said United's Vice President of Fleet Ron Baur.
"Last year our customers 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 787-9's extended range – 8,550 miles compared to the 787-8's 8,200 – will enable United to launch its Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, service on October 26, the airline's first regularly scheduled international deployment of the aircraft. It will be 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.