United Airlines’ very first Boeing 787-10 has arrived, making it the only US carrier to count the newest member of the Dreamliner family of aircraft among its fleet.
The new aircraft was handed over to United at Boeing’s delivery centre in Charleston, South Carolina, yesterday and is the first of 14 such aircraft that the airline has on order from the US manufacturer.
Speaking at the delivery ceremony, United’s chief financial officer, Gerry Laderman, described the aircraft as an “excellent addition to United’s fleet”, adding that the aircraft provides a superior level of customer comfort “that allows passengers to arrive at their destinations feeling more refreshed”.
So what can passengers expect from the latest addition to United’s fleet?
First of all, the aircraft features United’s newest business class seat product, dubbed Polaris, which it launched in March last year on board its B777-300ERs. The airline has since been progressively retrofitting a number of its aircraft with the seats, and they can now be found on 777-200s and 767-300s as well.
The new Dreamliner features 44 Polaris seats in total, which are laid out in a forward-facing staggered 1-2-1 configuration. This gives all passengers direct access to the aisle, however the staggered format does make it such that some seats are more secluded while others are more exposed by being closer to the aisle.
Business Traveller recently reviewed the Polaris seat and service as it appears on United’s 777-300ER flying from San Francisco to Hong Kong.
The 787-10 also notably features United’s new premium economy seat product, marketed as Premium Plus. United only announced it would be entering the premium economy field in January, following its introduction by both of its key US rivals, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
There are 21 Premium Plus seats on the Dreamliner, along with 54 Economy Plus and 199 economy class seats.
Travellers can expect to see the 787-10 take to the skies starting January 7 when it will debut on United’s flights between Los Angeles and New York (Newark).
United recently launched a new Polaris Lounge at Newark Liberty International Airport, while Los Angeles is set to see a new Polaris Lounge before the end of this year.
The 787-10 is Boeing’s newest (and largest) addition to its Dreamliner aircraft family, measuring 5.4 metres longer than its predecessor, the 787-9, allowing it to carry more passengers than its forebears.
Boeing delivered its very first 787-10 to launch customer and fellow Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines in March this year, which notably served as the launch vessel for the carrier’s new fully flat regional business class seat.
Business Traveller took an in-depth look at Singapore Airlines’ 787-10 and business class seat product earlier this year.