United Airlines plans to make its first flight
this week with a newly delivered Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the US-based
carrier said Monday.
United on Saturday took ownership of the jet, the first of five 787s it expects to receive this year, becoming the first North American airline to receive a Dreamliner. For the first flight without passengers, the 787 is to be flown from Boeing Field in Seattle to United's hub in Houston to begin a month of training and certification, including non-commercial flights to several US airports.
United's first commercial Dreamliner flight is scheduled for November 4, hauling passengers from Houston to Chicago, ahead of a move to international flights in December.
United chief executive Jeff Smisek called the 787 a "game-changing aircraft."
With a fleet of 50 Dreamliners on order from Boeing, United's new aircraft will be based in Houston.
The United Dreamliners are configured for 219 seats. The airline predicts greater passenger comfort, along with large gains in fuel efficience with reduced operating costs and lower emissions.
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