Today, United Airlines flew into history by becoming the first U.S carrier to operate the brand new, ultra – state of the art Boeing 787. Flight 116 departed Houston Bush International at 7:20am en-route to Chicago’s O’Hare with a full load of paying passengers, United employees and journalist. The new airlines landed in Chicago at 9:47am CST to an enthusiastically, excited welcoming ceremony. In addition the airplane was given the traditional water cannon salute which is widely used to celebrate many airline’s inaugural flights.
Passengers reported that the flight had a party like atmosphere and was well worth the wait.
United will operate the new airliner mainly on domestic route to familiarize the crew members with the airplane before launching it into longer, international routes. Among those on board the inaugural domestic trip was United CEO Jeff Smisek who simply said “Awesome, Just Awesome” of his brand new workhorse.
The 787 first entered service with Japan’s ANA Airlines last year. The airline currently has the most 787’s in their fleet and has had nothing but praise for the airplane. United has taken delivery of two of their order of thirty eight of the 787-800 versions with another order of fourteen of the 787-900 which will be a stretch version of the airplane. Delta Airlines will be the only other U.S airline to operate the 787 in the future. The delivery date for Deltas has yet to be announced since the order was placed with Northwest Airlines which merged with Delta in 2008.