Long haul remains the name of the game, with United Airlines announcing it is to start a service between Houston Intercontinental to Sydney Australia in the new year.
The route will be one of the second longest that the airline operates – with a Great Circle Distance of 8,596 miles.
Operations will commence on the 18th January 2018, with a daily service. Planned operation is based on the following information:
UA101 DEPART IAH 20:00 ARRIVE SYD 06:30+2 UA100 DEPART SYD 11:50 ARRIVE IAH 10:35 Commences: 18th January 2018, subject to governmental approval. Operates Daily Booked Equipment: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Data: United Airlines.
United will be utilising a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, made up of:
- 48 United Polaris (Business Class Flat Bed Seats) in a 2-2-2 formation
- 63 Economy Plus seats in a 3-3-3 formation
- 141 United Economy Class Seats in a 3-3-3 formation.
All seats are configured with In flight entertainment systems and power at seat.
United currently serves Sydney from the west coast of the United States of America – with departures from Los Angeles and San Francisco. This will be the first direct service between Houston and Sydney.
Scott Kirby, president of United Airlines is pleased with the upcoming launch, stating
“Our Houston hub is stronger than ever and it continues to be an absolutely vital part of our industry-leading network. We are honored to have served this vibrant city for nearly half a century, and this exciting intercontinental flight is one more way we are demonstrating United’s commitment to our customers who call Houston home as well as the millions of customers who connect through Houston each year. This new route will serve more than 70 cities across North America making one-stop service to Sydney faster and more convenient than ever before.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is ecstatic about the upcoming launch, stating
“This new route is just one of the ways United is demonstrating its commitment to its customers and employees in Houston. We are looking forward to visiting Sydney and welcoming our Australian visitors with open arms to Texas.”
Whilst Ultra-long haul routes are great for door to door connectivity, it also forces airlines to take a deep hard look at its on-board passenger experience. Why?
17 hours and 30 minutes in the air says so.
I don’t care how you cut it – 17 hours and 30 minutes is a long time trapped in a metal and composite metal tube – and it’ll be even longer if the passenger experience isn’t ideal.
And economy class in a Boeing 787 isn’t what I’d call ideal – by a long shot with a 17.3″ seat width.
But for those who value those direct links, or easy one-stop links, this will make an ideal tarns-pacific link.
Tickets and redemption space appear to be on sale now.
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