In a trip years in the making, United Airlines passengers Sunday got their first chance to experience the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which made its inaugural voyage for the airline on a scheduled flight from Houston to Chicago.
The twin-aisle plane, which made its debut three years late because of production problems at Boeing, is said to be far more fuel efficient and less costly to maintain, while offering a new level of in-cabin comfort for passengers. Instead of being made mostly of metal, half the plane, including the fuselage and wings, is made of strong, light composite materials.
“If you want to be the world’s leading airline, you need to have the world’s leading airplane, and we have that today in the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner,” said United CEO Jeff Smisek, who said he hadn’t flown on one until the flight to O’Hare International Airport. “It’s been a long haul to get here.”
United is the first North American airline to receive a 787.
For the complete story by the Chicago Tribune’s Gregory Karp, click here.