Boeing and United Airlines on Monday celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner and acceptance of the first of the composite-bodied airliners by a North American customer.
United Continental Holdings announced that the first of its 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners on order entered the final assembly phase at Boeing’s factory in Everett, Wash., yesterday. United expects to become the first North American carrier to take delivery of the Dreamliner in “early 2012.”
In releasing its annual summer travel forecast recently, the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) projected modest, 1.5-percent growth in passengers over last year and expressed relief that people continue flying despite the overall economic impact of higher fuel prices. I would venture that ATA should worry as well about the cumulative impact of wedging people in unbearable economy-class seating.
Airbus delivered to Australia’s Qantas its first of 20 A380 superjumbos during ceremonies held on Friday at Airbus’ delivery center in Toulouse, France. Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO, and John Leahy, Airbus COO for customers, handed over the the Rolls-Royce-powered double-decker to Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon and Qantas CEO-designate Alan Joyce.