Speaking Aug. 31 at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Las Vegas, United vice chairman and chief revenue officer Jim Compton said United’s San Francisco-Chengdu 787-8 flights, which were launched last year, are a precursor to how it will develop the US-China market.
United already served Beijing and Shanghai when it launched Chengdu service, becoming the first US carrier to fly directly to the capital of Sichuan province.
“So much of the demand growth out of China over the next five years is going to be from secondary cities,” Compton said, adding that the “787 is the perfect aircraft to serve that developing market.”
United expects to take delivery of its 25th 787 in December, with another five due in the first half of 2016. While Compton said United has flexibility with Boeing to switch between the -8 and -9 models of the Dreamliner, the airline is expected to have eight 787-8s and 22 787-9s by July 2016. United, which was the North American launch customer for the 787, ultimately will have 50 787s in its fleet.
The 787 has delivered the performance Boeing promised for the aircraft, according to Compton. “The customer satisfaction scores are just really, really high with that aircraft,” he said. “All of the things Boeing talked about with pressurization and people feeling better after a long flight, all that’s happening.”
(Aaron Karp - ATWOnline News)