Browsing Tag: Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The final RAM 787 sits at the Everett Delivery Center - Photo: Jason Rabinowitz

The final RAM 787 sits at the Everett Delivery Center – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz

Years before the first iPhone went on sale, before Facebook knew everything about everyone, and even before this very blog, Royal Air Maroc placed an order for four Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with an option for an one more. The year was 2005, and the recently revealed 787 was picking up orders left and right.

Two RAM 787s seen at Paine Field in Oct 2010 with no plans to be delivered any time soon.

Two RAM 787s seen at Paine Field in Oct 2010 with no plans to be delivered any time soon

I won’t get into a history lesson about the 787 program delays since you can find that elsewhere, but let’s just say that RAM didn’t receive its first 787 from Boeing in late 2008 as originally planned. It wasn’t until 2014 that RAM would see its first 787, a full nine years after originally placing the order. Finally in late 2016, over a decade after the initial order was placed, Boeing completed delivery of all five of its 787s.

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.