Browsing Tag: Boeing 787 Dreamliner

A Xiamen 787-8 glides in for a landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on the airline's inaugural US revenue flight.

A Xiamen 787-8 glides in for a landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on the airline’s inaugural U.S. revenue flight

Xiamen Airlines launched its Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service on Sept. 26, creating both the first long-haul route from Xiamen to the United States and the first direct service to the States from the Chinese city of Shenzhen. We were there to welcome the inaugural flight.

United employees get excited for their newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

United employees get excited for their newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

What makes the 27th delivery of a Boeing 787 to an airline special? Its employees.

Recently, United took delivery of a 787-9 Dreamliner and invited 200 employees along, to celebrate their dedication and hard work. Team leaders, around the world, were asked to select top performers and they were invited to fly to Seattle, attend a VIP dinner, and take a Dreamliner delivery flight back to home-base in Chicago.

The United 787, sitting at Boeing Field

The United 787, sitting at Boeing Field

The road to… well… unite United has not been easy and there is still a lot of work ahead. With new leadership, there is renewed hope for bringing everyone together for the purpose of making the airline stronger. From what I saw during the delivery flight, the airline seems to be on the right path. I have become optimistic about their future.

A United 787-9 touching down – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

A United 787-9 touching down – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

United’s daily service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL), Australia is the world’s longest Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight. The long flight (UA98 is scheduled for 15 hours, 50 minutes) allowed me to not only put the 787-9 to the test, but also United’s Economy Plus product.

Flights from LAX to Melbourne take off in the late evening and arrive in the early morning, so the outbound flight is quite easy to sleep on, assuming you aren’t contemplating the remoteness of the vast Pacific Ocean. The routing typically takes the aircraft out on runway 25R, and after an eternity over open water, high above Kiribati, American Samoa, and Fiji, before crossing the Tasman Sea, leaving less than an hour of flying time over land.

Economy Plus on the United 787

Economy Plus on the United 787

As you enjoy your breakfast, you can gaze out on a sunrise over the Australian Alps and observe the Dreamliner’s wings, which are nearly free of fuel, in their most upward-bent shape. I was excited for the flight, but not sure if United could come through during such a long trip.

ANA returns to Sydney with the Star Wars 787-9

ANA returns to Sydney with the Star Wars 787-9

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has returned to Sydney after a 16-year hiatus, operating their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. A stand-out from any other inaugural flight, the ANA Star Wars jet made its debut appearance in Australia’s largest city to celebrate this special event, as well as the upcoming film. As an avid Star Wars fan, I was compelled to be present for the arrival of this work of art.

As exciting as the prospect of ANA returning to Sydney was, the highlight for me was the aircraft tour shortly after arrival.

The R2-D2 Style Seat Covers are a cute addition to the aircraft

The R2-D2-style seat covers are a cute addition to the aircraft

After a period of rushing around issuing visitor passes to the media crews, the bus had us out at the runway 15 minutes prior to the arrival of the Star Wars Dreamliner. I was also made aware that people had flocked to the airport to witness this spectacle, with all the usual aircraft spotting areas full. Spotting at Sydney Airport can be a challenge to even the most experienced AvGeek, with runway selections seeming arbitrary at times. Fortunately on this occasion, the plane landed on the runway we hoped for.