United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Virtual Tour and Review
SAN FRANCISCO — United Airlines was the first U.S. airline to take delivery of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and currently has 10 in service, with an additional 55 on order. The carrier first put the Dreamliner into service on November 12, 2012 on familiarization routes in the United States and slowly added a variety of domestic and international destinations as more Dreamliners joined the fleet. This was a mere two months before the worldwide grounding of all Dreamliners due to battery issues.
The grounding ended in April and gave the Dreamliner a fresh start. Airlines began announcing plans for a variety of routes that truly embodied the dream in Dreamliner as well as its underlying mission, that of connecting cities to one another that heretofore could not be served with earlier model aircraft.
Chengdu is emblematic of the kind of ambitious route that United and others are pursuing. It has never been connected via non-stop service to the U.S. before and the pairing of cities is ideal. Chengdu is a high-tech hub and almost 200 of the Fortune 500 companies operate there. Up until now, to get there, a traveler connected in Beijing or Shanghai.
Just as United built a bridge between Asia and Colorado, it is doing the same thing with Chengdu, all part of a strategy that dates back to its 1985 acquisition of Pan American World Airways’ Pacific Division.
While United started by operating its Dreamliners on existing routes, its strategy has been to use the plane – ideal for long-range flights given the greater comfort passengers will enjoy – to open up new routes, especially those where it would be the first to offer service. So far, it has inaugurated two, Denver-Tokyo, which began service last June, and San Francisco-Chengdu, China, which launched Monday.
Both marked the first non-stop connection between their respective cities.