United Airlines became the first North American air carrier to have the entire 787 Dreamliner family in its fleet on Monday with the delivery of a 787-10 built at Boeing Co.'s North Charleston campus.
United's newest plane — also the first Dash 10 for a U.S. carrier powered by GEnx-1B engines — joins a fleet of 37 smaller Dreamliner variants, a mix of 787-8s and 787-9s. United has 26 more Dreamliners on order, including an additional 13 787-10s.
"The 787-10 is an excellent addition to United's fleet," Gary Laderman, the airline's chief financial officer, said in a statement. Laderman, who touted the plane's "superior fuel efficiency" and "most comfortable customer experience," was at Monday's event, which took place at Boeing's North Charleston delivery center.
The Chicago-based carrier's first 787-10 is expected to leave North Charleston on Tuesday and will carry paying passengers beginning Jan. 7 on flights between Los Angeles and Newark, N.J.
United is debuting several new features on its 787-10 jets, including interior lighting patterns that mimic sunrise and sunset colors to help passengers adjust to long flights through different time zones.
The planes also have updated seat-back entertainment systems with features like split-screen video monitors that let passengers watch a movie and view the flight map simultaneously.
"The larger airplane comes with more seats, more cargo capacity and the same Dreamliner comforts that passengers prefer," said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing's senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing.
To date, almost all 787-10s have been delivered with Rolls Royce engines, including the first delivery to Singapore Airlines in March. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways took delivery of the first Dash 10 with GE engines last week.
Boeing has booked 171 orders for its wide-body 787-10, which is built only in North Charleston because its mid-section is too long to transport to the company's other Dreamliner campus in Everett, Wash. The 787-10 is 223 feet long — 18 feet longer than the 787-9, and can carry as many as 330 passengers as far as 6,430 nautical miles.