Boeing delivered the aircraft in Seattle late Wednesday. United will initially put it to use on Houston-based routes on Sept. 20. On Oct. 26, United will inaugurate six-day-a-week 787-9 service between LAX and Melbourne, Australia, which at 7,927 miles would be the longest 787 route in the world.
For now, United's San Francisco-Chengdu flight, at 6,857 miles, is the longest 787-8 flight to operate non-stop in both directions, while the longest single direction 787-8 flights are Ethiopian Airlines' flights from Addis Ababa to Washington at 7,182 miles and to Toronto at 7,143 miles. The eastbound flights are non-stop but the westbound flights both stop in Rome.
Read More: United Pilots: We Flew the Boeing 787 to Chengdu and Loved It
The 787-9 has a range of 8,550 miles, compared to 8,200 miles for the 787-8. The 787-9 fuselage is trenched by 20 feet.
United will operate the 787-9 with 252 seats, including 48 in business and 204 in economy. Of the economy seats, 88 are Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space. United operates the 787-8 with 219 seats, including 36 in Business and 183 in economy, which includes 70 in Economy Plus.