United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) is about to become the first U.S airline to fly the composite jet, the 787 Dreamliner, from The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA). United is counting on the new airplane to improve on operations, and help cut on costs. Interestingly, the new 787 Dreamliner has already been acquired by companies outside of the U.S., for instance Air India, which acquired the light plane two months ago.
Bloomberg noted that the Dreamliner has attracted notice for production delays, as well as jet-lag-reducing creature comforts. The new plane will be key to United’s plans to improve revenues and operations, which have slowed down, since the 2010 merger that gave birth to the airline.
United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Smisek, is quoted saying, “if you want to be the world’s leading airline, then you need the world’s leading airplane, and we have that”. Smisek was addressing employees and passengers in Houston before United’s 787 debut flight to Chicago yesterday.
In an interview, while aboard the plane, en-route to Chicago, Smisek expressed that the airline lost valuable customers and the that it was in the process of gaining them back. The new 787 Dreamliner guarantees 20% savings on fuel consumption. Senior Vice President Gerry Laderman estimates that the company will save 30% on airframe costs with new plane.
United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL)’s newly acquired plane also features LED lighting, which changes at different levels; the company plans to acquire four more planes by the end of November, while 45 more are believed to be in the pipeline, noted Bloomberg.
At the time of this writing, United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) stock was trading at $20.06 per share, up $0.33, or a 1.67% increase from yesterday’s close.