On Saturday, United Airlines officially took financial delivery of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. However, the aircraft is still in Seattle and is expected to be flown to Houston later this week.
Jeff Smisek, president and CEO of United, said, ’œAs the North American launch customer, we are delighted to be getting our first 787 Dreamliner. As we continue to build the world’s leading airline, we are excited for our customers and co-workers to experience this game-changing aircraft.’
Oddly, the 787 will depart from Boeing Field (which is located south of Seattle), where most delivery flights for the 747, 767, 777 and 787 leave from Paine Field. Each airline has the option to decide how they will take delivery. Some do it very quietly and others throw a huge party. I would suspect that United would want to throw a huge party, but no word on what that might look like — yet.
After arriving in Houston, the 787 and crew will go through a month-long training and certification program. The airline will also be flying the aircraft (without passengers) to some of their hubs to show it off.
“This 787 delivery represents the continuation in the more than 80-year partnership between our two companies,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “United now begins a new chapter with the 787 Dreamliner, the most technologically advanced commercial jetliner ever built. It reinforces United’s commitment to be the world’s leading airline by providing unmatched fuel efficiency and passenger comfort.”
Currently, ANA, JAL and Ethiopian are the only airlines with 787s in service. LAN has taken delivery of their first one, but have not yet put it into service. It is exciting to see an American airline take delivery and soon enter this next generation aircraft into service.
SOME UNITED HISTORICAL FUN FROM AIRCHIVE.COM:
* 1958 United DC-8 brochure
* The Friend Ship Boeing 747 introduction brochure from 1960
* Boeing 777 (which United was the launch customer) introduction brochure from 1995