United Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner on Monday.
With that, United becomes the first North American carrier to take possession of the 787-10, the newest and biggest variant of Boeing’s long-haul 787 widebody jet.
United also becomes the first airline in the world to have all three of those variants. United already has the 787-8 and 787-9 versions of the Dreamliner.
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“The 787-10 is an excellent addition to United’s fleet. It offers superior fuel efficiency while providing a more comfortable customer experience onboard that allows passengers to arrive at their destinations feeling more refreshed,” Gerry Laderman, United’s chief financial officer, said in a statement about the handover, which took place at Boeing’s delivery center facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Singapore Airlines became the first in the world to take delivery of the "dash 10" variant, receiving its first version of the jet at a splashy ceremony at Boeing's South Carolina assembly line in March.
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The 787-10 is 18 feet longer than the 787-9, allowing it to hold more passengers and cargo than other versions.
United will configure its 787-10s to hold 318 seats, including 44 of its new lie-flat business-class seats and 21 international-style “Premium Plus” premium economy seats. There also will be 54 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats and 199 in standard coach.
United will fly the jet away from Boeing’s facility on Tuesday, when the carrier will begin preparations to introduce the jet to its schedule. United says it expects its 787-10 to begin flying paying passengers on Jan. 7, when it debuts on flights between the airline's Los Angeles and Newark Liberty hubs.
United has ordered a total of 14 787-10s.
PHOTO ARCHIVES: The Boeing 787 flies for United Airlines
PHOTO ARCHIVES: United Airlines unveils its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner