United Airlines will commence international flights using its Boeing 787 Dreamliner today (3 January 2013), when the aircraft starts flying between Los Angeles and Tokyo’s Narita airport.
The new fuel-efficient B787 will take over from the B777 United currently uses on the daily trans-Pacific route, marking the start of a series of Asian engagements for the Dreamliner.
“We are delighted to offer our customers in Los Angeles and Tokyo the comfort and spectacular flying experience of our new Boeing Dreamliner aircraft,” said Jim Mueller, United’s vice president of Atlantic and Pacific Sales. “We look forward to offering our customers the opportunity to experience the Dreamliner on additional international flights in the future.”
The new service will depart Los Angeles at 1115 each day, arriving in Tokyo at 1610 the following day. The return flight will depart Narita airport daily at 1755, arriving back in to Los Angeles at 1035 the same day, having crossed the International Date Line.
United’s 787 Dreamliner is equipped with 219 seats in a three-class configuration – 36 in business class, 70 in premium economy and 113 in economy. The aircraft’s cabins also have bigger windows, larger overhead bins, LED lighting and a lower cabin pressure.
United received the first of its 50 ordered Dreamliners in November 2012 and immediately put it into temporary service on the domestic Houston-Chicago route. Following the launch of the first international route to Tokyo, United plans to roll-out further Dreamliner routes in Asia, including LA-Shanghai and Denver-Tokyo. Other destinations to be served by the aircraft will include Amsterdam, Lagos and London, although plans for a direct flight between Houston and Auckland have been shelved.
United is the first US carrier to operate the B787 Dreamliner.