United Airlines will replace its aging Boeing 747 Jumbos used on flights to Australia from the continental United States with Boeing 777-200ER aircraft from early next year.
The airline will replace the 747-400s used on daily flights from Sydney and Melbourne to San Francisco and Los Angeles with 777s from April 1, 2014, to reduce passenger capacity on the US-Australia routes.
Among many other new amenities, the 777s will feature in-seat video screens and power outlets at each seat – features sorely missed on Boeing 747s. In-flight Internet connectivity is also expected to be introduced on the aircraft.
United 747s have a seating capacity of 374 seats while 777s seat 269 passengers, 105 or 30 percent fewer seats than the jumbos.
The reduction in capacity on the routes is expected to boost the profitability on the route for both United and its competitors.
A senior United official has said that the 777 is the “ideal aircraft for our Australia routes in terms of both capacity and customer amenities.”
A bit further down the road, United plans to introduce the upcoming A350-1000 aircraft on its flight to Australia from the US in 2018.