United plans for the next generation of 787 flights, launches first 787-9 flight times

As the 787 matures the plane is beginning to settle down and airlines are getting used to it. Soon, the next version of the 787 will be joining United Airlines fleet – the 787-9 (the mid-sized variant of the 787 project).

And it seems United will be using this aircraft for quite a long haul stretch, operating between Los Angeles and Melbourne Tullamarine, Australia as a non-stop route.

The timetable for this services looks like this:


Service operates 6 days a week in both directions
No service operates in either direction on THURSDAY
UA098 will operate 1 hour earlier on Tuesdays
UA099 will operate 4 hours later on Thursdays
Booked Equipment: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Commences: 26th October

What’s different about the Boeing 787-9? In United Airlines configuration, they will operate as configured:
– 48 Business First Seats
– 63 Economy Plus Seats
– 141 Economy Seats

A Total of 252 seats.

It shouldn’t take too much to guess the seating configuration of the plane (and it won’t be vastly different to the 787-8s in service), I’d expect a layout of 2-2-2 in Business, and 3-3-3 everywhere else.

In terms of extra seats – there is a fair difference, with Economy Plus taking a hit:

Type                        787-8    787-9
Business First Seats         36       48
Economy Plus Seats           70       63
Economy Seat                113      141

Data: Airlineroute and Seatguru

The route is subject to government approval, with a commencement date of 26th October 2014.

In addition, there will be a route change for the existing Los Angeles – Sydney – Melbourne service, which is now curtailed at Sydney (Operating LAX-SYD only).

The 787 was sold on “Thin and Long” economics, making difficult viability routes viable. This seems to good example of United trying to see if this works…

Expect more thin and long routes to feature 787-9s as time goes on…


  1. downhillcrasher says

    Can you make sense of these two seemingly contradictory statements “No service operates in either direction on THURSDAY” and “UA099 will operate 4 hours later on Thursdays”? So, does UA099 operate on thursday or not?

  2. Bill says

    Does anyone know if United is planning to start LAX-AKL (or SFO/IAH-AKL) service sometime in the not too distant future? The 787 would seem perfectly suited for this trip, and Star has only NZ serving the route between AKL and North America.

  3. patricia says

    UA is really taking advantage of 787 to open new frontiers :


    i’m really hoping for

    something with NGO, CAN, SIN, BNE
    reinstate IAH-CDG

  4. Kris says

    It is nice to see them adding routes, instead of replacing them with some of the 787s. I would’t expect to see US-SIN service any time soon though, the economics of ultra long haul are questionable at best, just look at SQ. I doubt AA will have DFW-HKG for long either.