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Melbourne-LAX nonstop on United’s stretch Dreamliner

February 25, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59United Airlines is to give Melbourne a non-stop service to Los Angeles from October, using a new version of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

United will start six non-stop 787-9 services a week between Melbourne and Los Angeles from 28 October 2014. It plans to build frequency to daily. The 787-9 is the new, bigger version of the Dreamliner.

Although United will be the North American launch customer for this “stretch” version of the B787, Air New Zealand will be the first in the world to fly it. Air New Zealand plans to launch the jet’s first-ever regularly scheduled passenger flight – between Auckland andIsland Hopping Perth – from 15 October 2014.

United  says the Los Angeles/Melbourne flights will be its “first international deployment of the aircraft type”.

The 787-9 is about seven metres longer than the current 787-8 model of the Dreamliner and it carries up to 40 more passengers. The United 787-9 aircraft operating the new Los Angeles-Melbourne service will offer a total of 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 63 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

“We are excited about using the newest version of the Dreamliner, the 787-9, to provide nonstop trans-Pacific service to Melbourne,” United’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer, Jim Compton said in an issued statement.

“Our customers on these new flights will enjoy a more convenient itinerary, as well as improved inflight comfort and amenities. At the same time, we will seek to make changes to our Sydney schedule which will enable faster connections via our San Francisco and Los Angeles hubs from points throughout the Americas.”

Flight 98 will depart Los Angeles at 10.30pm daily except Tuesday and Thursday and arrive in Melbourne at 9.15am two days later (all times local).  On Thursday, flight 98 will depart Los Angeles at 9.30pm and arrive in Melbourne at 8.15am two days later (all times local). The flights to Melbourne will not operate on Tuesdays.

On the return, flight 99 will depart Melbourne at 11.15am daily except Thursday and Saturday and arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 6.50am the same day. On Saturday, flight 99 will depart Melbourne at 3.15pm and arrive in Los Angeles at 10.50am the same day. The flights to Los Angeles will not operate on Thursday.

Flying times will be approximately 15 hours, 45 minutes westbound, and 14 hours, 35 minutes eastbound.

With the launch of nonstop Los Angeles-Melbourne service, United will end service between Melbourne and Sydney.  The airline will seek to retime its daily departures from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney in order to allow a greater range of connections beyond the hubs and to provide more convenient arrival times for customers on connecting flights from Sydney to New York and other East Coast destinations.

Written by : Peter Needham

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