The Daily Parker

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United Continental to receive first 787 early next year

Chicago-based United Continental Airlines followed this week's ANA publicity with a me too:

Jeff Smisek, head of the parent company for United and Continental airlines, on Thursday said he was last told by Boeing that the first of the 50 aircraft ordered by the company will be delivered to have in service in the second half of 2012.

"We ordered that aircraft in December 2004. So I've been a very patient person," said Smisek, the president and CEO of United Continental Holdings Inc.

I'm writing this from the American Airlines terminal at O'Hare, where I am sad to report American has not yet said when they expect to receive their first Dreamliners.

United Continental plans to use its first 787 for nonstop service between Houston-Bush and Auckland, N.Z., a short 11,930 km and 16 hours apart. Of course, that makes the point of flying a 787 on that route obvious: it's a hugely more fuel-efficient airplane, and more comfortable (which isn't really as important as the fuel savings to any airline, of course).

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