This week United revealed more about how its new 787s will be deployed in light of its recent fleet reconfiguration:
United: New Boeing 787-9 deliveries to fly out of Houston Intercontinental (IAH)
Between now and March 2016, we expect to take delivery of nine Boeing 787-9s, and we plan to use these aircraft on routes out of IAH as we transition our fleet based on the fleet changes we announced with our earnings release in April.
The aircraft will fly primarily between IAH and GIG (Rio de Janeiro), EZE (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and SCL (Santiago, Chile) in South America; FRA (Frankfurt, Germany) and AMS (Amsterdam) in Europe; and LAX and DEN domestically.
While using 787-9s on routes to South America doesn’t take full advantage of the aircraft’s range, their increased seating capacity allows us to better match our capacity with demand while addressing other fleet constraints and movements.
For example, some of the Boeing 767-300ERs that currently fly the IAH-South America routes will fly trans-Atlantic routes that typically see decreased demand in the winter season, while the higher-capacity 787-9s will meet the higher demand in South America during the winter. In turn, using the 767s on routes previously served by Boeing 757s to Europe enables us to use the 757s on domestic flights such as hub-to-hub and Hawaii routes.
The five 787-9s we currently have in our fleet are flying between LAX and MEL (Melbourne, Australia), PVG (Shanghai) and NRT and will continue to do so through the winter season. These are replacing the 787-8s that previously flew these routes and are now flying out of IAH to Europe and Africa.
We will enter these changes into the schedule on May 9.