DULLES, Va. – United Airlines showed off its first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner on Friday at Washington Dulles International Airport.
The event marked the first time that United has revealed the interior of the aircraft, which it took delivery of two weeks ago.
United already had two smaller versions of the Dreamliner in its fleet, the 787-8 and 787-9. But the “Dash 10” is the biggest version yet of Boeing’s Dreamliner line. Boeing delivered its first 787-10 just this past March, when Singapore Airlines became the first carrier in the world to get one.
Now, United has become the first North American airline to receive the 787-10. The carrier also is now the only airline in the world to have all three Dreamliner variants in its fleet.
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United’s 787-10s – which are 18 feet longer than the 787-9 model – will seat 318 passengers. Included in that configuration are 44 of United’s new “Polaris” lie-flat business-class seats and 21 international-style “Premium Plus” premium economy seats, United’s newest class of service that debuted earlier this year. It’s not yet widely rolled out to United’s fleet, but is being installed on all 14 787-10s that United has ordered.
Completing United’s 787-10 layout are 54 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats and 199 in standard coach.
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After delivery from Boeing, United flew the 787-10 to Washington Dulles for some additional modifications before it enters passenger service.
“The Dreamliner’s first stop once we took delivery of it was our Dulles/D.C. hub where we began doing post-delivery modifications that make the plane more specific to United,” spokeswoman Maddie King says to USA TODAY’s Today in the Sky blog. “All of our Dreamliners go to Dulles first where we install things like brand panels and our in-flight entertainment system.
The “Polaris” business-class cabin onboard is United’s latest update to the premium product. It was rolled out to great fanfare in the summer of 2016 and has been generally well-received by customers, though some have grumbled about how slowly the product has rolled out across United’s international fleet.
The 21 international-style “Premium Plus” premium economy seats are a new offering, allowing United to match similar products offered for years by international airlines like Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways and numerous others. More recently, U.S. airlines have joined the trend. American and Delta have already introduced their versions, and are farther into their rollouts of that product.
In the economy cabin, United’s seats have 34 inches of “pitch” – a standard measure of seat space – in Economy Plus and just 31 inches in standard economy.
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