United Airlines’ first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – a longer version than the B787-8 and carrying 30 more passengers at 252 – has rolled out of final assembly, marking the first major milestone in the aircraft’s production ahead of its expected delivery this summer.
The Dreamliner is the second and newest member of the fuel-efficient B787 family. With the fuselage stretched 20 feet longer than the B787-8, United’s B787-9 will fly more than 30 additional passengers and up to 300 nautical miles farther with the same exceptional environmental performance, including up to 20% less fuel burn per seat and up to 20% fewer emissions than similarly sized aircraft. The airline is the North American launch customer for the aircraft.
“The 787-9 is an amazing aircraft that builds on the 787-8’s proven fuel efficiency, performance and customer comfort,” said Ron Baur, United’s Vice President of Fleet. “We are excited to add the 787-9 to our Dreamliner fleet as it gives us even more flexibility and range to capitalise on our extensive worldwide route network.”
Earlier this year, United announced that it will fly the B787-9 on nonstop service between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport and Melbourne, Australia, beginning in October. The airline will fly the route six times weekly with the aircraft. United will be the first North American carrier to take delivery of the 787-9, and this will be the airline’s first international deployment of the aircraft type.
Over the next several months, the aircraft will move to the next phase of completion, which includes final cabin configuration and painting. United’s 787-9 will be configured with 252 seats – 48 in BusinessFirst and 204 in Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space. United’s first B787-9 will also be one of five aircraft used by Boeing in a flight test programme to certify the aircraft.