United Dreamliner Shift Spells Bad News for Houston Flyers
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United is ditching Houston in favor of Washington, D.C. — for its Dreamliners, that is. With the change coming this winter, the airline is closing its 787 pilot base at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), one of its largest hubs. Following this shift, Houston-based passengers who have enjoyed traveling on United’s flashy new Dreamliners will be relegated to aging 777s and 767s, instead.
According to a FlightGlobal report, the new 787s at Washington’s Dulles Airport (IAD) will begin operating some of the carrier’s routes beginning October 29, 2017, including service to Beijing (PEK; currently operated by a 777-200), London (LHR), Paris (CDG) and Sao Paulo (GRU; currently operated by a 767-400ER). Beginning October 29, IAH-Frankfurt (FRA) will be operated by a 777-200 and IAH-Bueno Aires (EZE) will be operated by a 767-300ER.
United said that no routes will be discontinued as a result of the 787 pilot base being closed. The reasoning for the change is to get better utilization out of its fleet, which it believes it can do with the switch from IAH to IAD. In addition to the soon-to-be-defunct Dreamliner base in Houston, United also has 787 pilot bases in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
United currently has 12 787-8s in its fleet in addition to 20 787-9s, with more extended-length Dreamliners on the way this year and next.
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