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Boeing delivers United’s first 787 Dreamliner

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Updated: October 26, 2012 6:13AM

United Airlines said Monday it has taken delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner, the Boeing Co. aircraft that promises more comfort for passengers and cheaper operating costs for the carriers.

United is the first North American airline to get one of the 787s. The airline said it will fly the plane later this week from Boeing Field in Seattle to its hub in Houston.

It will be part of a month-long training and certification program, which will include several non-commercial flights to United hubs. Its first commercial flight is scheduled to be from Houston to Chicago at 7:25 a.m. Nov. 4.

United Airlines is the main operating unit of United Continental Holdings Inc. United and Boeing are based in Chicago.

“As the North American launch customer, we are delighted to be getting our first 787 Dreamliner,” said United chief executive Jeff Smisek. “As we continue to build the world’s leading airline, we are excited for our customers and co-workers to experience this game-changing aircraft.”

United has 50 Dreamliners on order. It has announced that after a brief period of domestic use, it will move them to international service late in 2012.

Boeing said the 787 is the first mid-size plane capable of flying long-range routes, thus allowing carriers to schedule nonstop service that the public prefers. Promised benefits include larger overhead bins and better ventilation.

United’s 787 has 36 seats in business class, 72 seats in “economy plus” and 111 seats in economy.

Meanwhile, Boeing said All Nippon Airlines has ordered 11 more 787-9 Dreamliners, bringing its total for all versions of the model to 66.

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