United Airlines 787-10 Has Its Inaugural Flight, Despite Already Flying

Yesterday the United B787-10 took its first “official” flight. Operating from Los Angeles to New York, the launch of services means that United is the first airline to operate on of each B787 models. Although the aircraft left Los Angeles late, it arrived in New York ahead of schedule.

However, despite this flight being labelled as the first flight of the new B787-10, Simple Flying previously reported that the aircraft had already been in service with United Airlines. This adds a little insult to injury as some passengers paid up to 500,000 miles to be on THE first B787-10 flight. In fact, United Airline appeared to subtly acknowledge that in a tweet yesterday:

The Route

United Airlines is currently using the B787-10 on the transcontinental route from Los Angeles to New York. Currently, UAL2418 is scheduled to depart Los Angeles International (LAX) at 0815, before arriving in New York (EWR) at 1619. The return flight is scheduled as UAL275. UAL 275 is set to depart Newark Liberty International at 18:20, before arriving at 22:02 (times quoted as gate to gate). As the cycle of flights takes less than 24 hours, the flight should be operated by a Boeing B787-10 each day.

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United B787-10
United Airlines is the first airline to operate one of each of the B787 family. Photo: United

Future B787-10 Routes

United is still in the process of receiving aircraft from Boeing. As such, without the full fleet, it is launching flights on a rolling basis. The other option would be to wait until all the aircraft are delivered and launching all routes at once. That wouldn’t make sense for two reasons though. For starters, aircraft sitting on the ground are not making money. After how much United has spent on them, they want them making money. Secondly, when things are launched all at once, problems tend to occur. This was demonstrated when Heathrow’s Terminal 5 opened and is the reason that the new Istanbul Airport is not opening all at once.

The routes on which United will use the aircraft are as follows:

  • 1. San Francisco – Newark (February)
  • 2. Newark to Frankfurt (March 30th)
  • 3. Newark to Tel Aviv (March 30th)
  • 4. Newark to Paris (April 29th)
  • 5. Newark to Barcelona (April 29th)
  • 6. Newark to Brussels (May 22nd)
  • 7. Newark to Dublin (May 22nd)
United B787-10
The next B787-10 route is due to launch in February. Photo: United Airlines

Why Is United Using The B787

United is a particular fan of the B787. This is well illustrated by the fact that they’re the first airline to operate one of each of the B787 family. The reason that the aircraft is so popular is down to its efficiency and passenger comfort. Being a next-generation aircraft, the B787 simulates a lower altitude with better humidity. As such, passengers travelling on the B787 feel more refreshed upon arrival at their destination. Additionally, with the aircraft’s fuel efficiency, United believes they can cut their emissions in half by 2050.

Were you lucky enough to fly on the United B787-10? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

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Matthew Fegan

Hey, the code for Newark is EWR, not ERW. I live directly under the path taken by planes departing from Dulles airport (IAD) and was lucky enough to spot one of these beautiful aircraft the other day. I took pictures but they weren’t great.