United’s San Francisco-Chengdu flight, scheduled to begin service June 9, would not only be the first non-stop flight ever from the U.S. to Chengdu, but also would be the longest 787 flight to operate non-stop in both directions, at least until the Melbourne flight begins. The route is 6,857 miles. The flight would operate three times a week, pending government approval.
Currently, the two longest 787 flights are operated by Ethiopian Airlines, but both stop in Rome on westbound routes from Addis Ababa toWashington and Toronto. Addis-Washington is 7,182 miles, while Addis-Toronto is 7,143 miles.
The third longest 787 flight, operated by AeroMexico, operates Mexico City-Tokyo but makes a westbound stop in Tijuana. All three flights operate non-stop when eastbound.
Boeing has taken orders for 1,031 Dreamliners and has delivered 133 aircraft to 17 customers, led by ANA with 27 and Japan Air Lines with 15. United, which seats 219 passenger on its 787s, has taken delivery of 10 aircraft. By contrast, low-fare carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle has 291 seats on its 787s.
On Sunday, Boeing rolled the first 787-9 out of the paint hangar, painted in a black color scheme for launch customer Air New Zealand. The fuselage of the 787-9 is stretched by 20 feet and would accommodate up to 40 additional passengers and fly an additional 300 nautical miles. Included in the 787 orders are 405 orders for 787-9s.