UA Confirms Mid-2012 787 entry into service on IAH-AKL route

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by VVanderlust, Jul 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. VVanderlust

    VVanderlust Silver Member

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    Via Austrailan Business Traveller
    Source: www.http://www.ausbt.com.au/

    http://www.ausbt.com.au/united-cont...=promobox&utm_campaign=latestnews-articleleft

    Note: Wrong Livery in Picture.
    Be interesting to see if it comes out of the factory with 2 or 3 classes. At least we know E+ will be on it.

    United aims for first Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights by mid-2012


    With Boeing’s first 787 Dreamliner now out of the factory and almost ready for flights with launch customer ANA (we've got photos and video here), United-Continental remains hopeful of introducing its first 787 into commercial service in the first half of next year.
    The radical next-gen airliner will debut on a new non-stop route between Auckland and Houston – United’s first service in New Zealand, and one which is well-suited to the long-haul jetliner.

    Alison Espley, General Manager of Australia and New Zealand for United, told Australian Business Traveller that while the timetable was “dependent on Boeing’s delivery program”, early-mid 2012 was now a likely date for “United-Continental to take delivery of the 787, which we will be operating between Auckland and Houston.” That service was previously slated to begin in November this year, Espley said.

    The non-stop flight between Auckland and Houston relies on the long range, fuel efficiency and modest passenger load of the 787 to be commercially viable for United says Jeff Smisek, president and CEO of United Airlines.
    “That market is dependent on the 787 – we will not fly that route without the 787” Smisek told Australian Business Traveller late last year. “But with the 787 we can make money on that route.”
    The Auckland-Houston service is noteworthy because it directly connects two major hubs operated by Star Alliance partners without requiring an expensive and time-consuming stopover such as Los Angeles.
    It also illustrates how the 787 could open up other new routes which are beyond the range of today’s mid-size airliners but uneconomical for larger-capacity aircraft like the 747-400.
    United’s 25 787-8 Dreamliners, which it inherited from the merger with Continental, were previously announced as sporting a simple two-class configuration, with 36 flat-bed seats in the business cabin and 192 seats in economy. However, this cabin layout could be changed by United into a more familiar three-class (with premium economy) before the Dreamliner is wheeled out of the factory.
    The Auckland-Houston flight was originally announced as a daily service, but would run five-times-weekly during certain unspecified periods in the first year of operation.
    The preliminary schedule saw an afternoon departure from Auckland at 3:40pm with arrival into Houston at 11:50am the same day; the return journey would leave Houston at 9:30pm and reach Auckland at 5:10am two days later.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    That they call E+ a "premium economy" product is an insult to premium economy everywhere. I'm betting the aircraft will be delivered with BF, E+ and E-.
     
  3. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    I, for one, am super excited to fly on the 787...about 6 months after it enters service. ;)
     
  4. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    As long as elites get free E+, they can call it whatever they want, but you're right. However, if they're going to add extra features and charge for it, then I don't want it. The leg room is most important. I don't want to lose free leg room just because they decide to include a meal and a drink.
     
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  5. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Just wait, they'll make elites pay for it eventually just like AA is making elites pay for some seats now.
     
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  6. FlyingFree
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    FlyingFree Gold Member

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    Wonder what award availability will be?? I love going to NZ, and doing on a Dreamliner in a Premium Class on miles would be an added bonus!
     
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  7. Minnesota Bruin
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    Minnesota Bruin Silver Member

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    UACO will run some domestic (hub-hub?) routes to get the crew up to speed before starting the IAH-AKL service, right?
     
  8. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I took appreciate a solid operating history.

    I punted on 380 flights (opting for qf's 747 service) for a year. Looks like I should have waited a little longer....
     
  9. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    I can tell you one thing: There will be an EXCLUSIVE milepoint DO on the FIRST UA 787 flight!! ;)
     
  10. Minnesota Bruin
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    Minnesota Bruin Silver Member

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    Awesome! Can't wait to hear the details.
     
  11. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Oooh baby!
     
  12. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    This is a change I will like!
     
  13. VVanderlust

    VVanderlust Silver Member

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    Given the size of the plane, I can't imagine that they would add a first class section. ANA is only going with biz on their first long-haul 787....and it was CO order (if that means anything).
     
  14. Hannaman
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    Hannaman Silver Member

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    AKL doesn't seem like a 3-cabin market. I bet they have Biz, E+ and Y. By that time, hopefully the confusing "BusinessFirst" moniker will be retired.

    It's interesting that they call it United's "first service in New Zealand." UA actually pulled out of New Zealand in 2003.
     
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  15. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    OMG. I'm excited about it drooling all over my keyboard.
     
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  16. Geo
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    Geo Gold Member

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    If your business destination is New Zealand it is pretty good. If you are connecting in AKL to an Australia destination... sadly... not the way to go. ANZ doesn't have a business class and that 7-8 hour non-productive jaunt to Perth ( a logical connection to IAH) would be a bit torturous. I can't and won't do that to my people.
     
  17. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    The real draw here is the business customers between NZ and the host of Latin and South American destinations out of IAH.
     
  18. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    Yes, that is what they've said.
     
  19. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    When business class first appeared - was it in the early 80's? - it was priced like full fare coach, or maybe a slight premium. I think it was 8 seats across on the 747, and a little extra legroom, and maybe somewhat upgraded meals. The gap to First was huge - both in service and price.

    Since then Business has kept getting better and much more expensive. With fully lie flat seats, Business has become the new first. And the gap to Coach, even Y+, is huge. There is room for a more premium product - wider seats that recline further, maybe complimentary drinks and meals and all is charged in Y.

    As frequent fliers we won't like it because a 1-class upgrade will go to premium economy, but it sure seems like if you are an airline executive thinking about a 3-class long-haul plane, there is more of a market for a real premium econonmy between lie-flat business and coach, than there is for F above lie-flat business.
     
  20. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Can a 787 make IAH-SYD non-stop? Or was AKL chosen because that's the range of the 787? I know that Qantas has had problems making DFW-SYD non-stop with the 747-400.
     
  21. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    I can see a good use of miles!!!:star:
     
  22. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    There is a very real market for Premium Economy out there. Both BA and VS are doing very well with the product. It sells to companies who are cutting down on travel expenses but who feel that long flights in full economy cannot be combined with readiness to work immediately after the flight. It also sells to affluent individuals who want something removed from the back of the bus.

    Predictions are always difficult, but I would guess that Economy Plus will move towards Premium Economy in the fullness of time - UA just won't want to forgo the revenue opportunities. I suspect that First will disappear, simply because UA does not really understand it as a product and cannot deliver it properly.

    This is, of course, bad news for us, so long may the status quo continue.
     
  23. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Domestically, the product all the U.S. airlines call F is below a business class product (except on p.s. and 3-class aircraft), and I don't see this changing.

    I agree that we should enjoy the international F for as long as it lasts. I suspect all new aircraft are going to come with C (business) as the top class, and it is a question of how long the 744, 763 & 77Q keep flying. After the IPTE investments, that ought to be another 10 years.
     
  24. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I actually flew UA Aukland-LAX in 1998
     
  25. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    I hope there are some sort of introductory Business class speciasl for IAH-AKL, maybe a $2000 deal for Milepoint members.
     
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