United’s fleet anatomy: first to operate 787 Dreamliner trio
The start of the week marked the day when United Airlines’ first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner began scheduled service between the U.S. carrier’s main hubs. With this aircraft, United became the first airline in the world to operate all three Dreamliner models, including the 787-8, 787-9 and now the longest variant, the 787-10.
United debuted the Boeing 787-10 (UA2418) on January 7, 2019, on service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). The legacy carrier says it expects its second 787-10 Dreamliner to enter service between its hubs in San Francisco (SFO) and New York/Newark (EWR) in February 2019.
At the end of 2018, United became the first North American airline to take delivery of the 787-10 model. The first aircraft was delivered to the carrier on November 5, 2018, while the other two 787-10s arrived the following month, according to Planespotters.net data. The airline states it expects to take delivery of another 11 787-10 aircraft within a two-year period.
United is also now the first airline in the world to have the entire family of Boeing's 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliners in its fleet and operational. According to Boeing’s orders and deliveries book through December 2018, of the 787 family trio, United currently operates 12 787-8 aircraft which were delivered to the carrier back in 2012 through 2014. Since 2014 through 2018, United took delivery of 25 787-9s; another 13 orders for the model are left unfilled.
"We are honored that United, a leading global carrier, has placed its trust in the 787 family, carefully optimizing their network with all three Dreamliner models." said Ihssane Mounir, senior VP of Commercial Sales and Marketing for The Boeing Company in an official press release marking the delivery of the first 787-10 to United.
On February 17, 2017, Boeing rolled out the first 787-10. U.S. President Donald Trump was in attendance at the ceremony. (Image: North Charleston, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Only two other carriers hold orders for the trio of the 787 family, that being Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) and British Airways (BA), Flight Global points out. According to Boeing, both ANA and BA operate the -8 and the -9 models. The Japanese airline has placed an order for three 787-10s, still unfilled. Meanwhile, BA has an order for 12 -10s, also unfilled.
United’s Massive Fleet
Overall, the Chicago-based airline operates a staggering number of 770 mainline aircraft and its regional branch United Express flies 559 regional planes across its eight carriers. A massive fleet for the world’s third largest airline by fleet size and the fifth largest by passenger numbers (In 2018, United and United Express operated more than 1.7 million flights carrying more than 158 million passengers).
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