United Airlines customers to get first peek at 787 in 2011, years ahead of plan
United Airlines may have been the last major U.S. carrier to order new airplanes, but its passengers would be among the first to experience Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner if the United-Continental merger goes according to plan.
The new carrier, which would retain United’s name and be run by Continental CEO Jeff Smisek, would be the launch customer in the Americas for the much-delayed but potentially game-changing 787, sources said.
If the deal is derailed, that honor would go to Continental Airlines, which said Wednesday that it will take delivery of its first 787 in August 2011. That’s about five years before United is due to receive the first of 25 Dreamliners it ordered late last year.