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:
UA098 DEPART LAX 22:30 ARRIVE MEL 09:15+2 MEL UA099 DEPART MEL 11:15 ARRIVE LAX 06:50 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…