MIAMI — United Airlines has taken delivery on Wednesday of the first of 14 Boeing 777-300ERs on order, expected to enter into service in 2017. The 777-300ERs are expected to replace the 747-400 as the flagship of the United fleet by the time the venerable Jumbo Jet is retired in 2018.
The first aircraft (N2331U • MSN 62642 • LN 1453) arrived Wednesday at United Airlines’ hub in San Francisco International Airport at 18:13 local, after an hour and 45 minute flight from Paine Field as flight UA2190. There, the maintenance base of United will get to work on the induction of the aircraft to the fleet.
After the induction, the aircraft will be ferried to Houston, where it will remain on the ground for a few days before flying to Chicago O’Hare Airport, where it will fly domestic non-passenger validation routes to Houston and Newark. Then, it will be ferried to San Francisco to perform a ETOPS validation flight with a service to Tokyo Narita.
Once completed the induction and validation flights, United’s newest flagship should be ready to enter into service on February 16 with domestic flights between Newark and San Francisco, serving flight UA1920 departing Newark at 07:00 local, and serving flight UA443 as the return flight from San Francisco, leaving at 12:50 local. These flights will allow crews to become familiar with the new cabin layout.
The new aircraft will be the first to be fitted with United’s new Polaris business class cabin, unveiled by the Chicago-based carried to great fanfare in June.
United will become the third North American operator of the type, following Air Canada and American, which pioneered the introduction of the type in the region nearly 4 years ago.