American United Airlines last week commenced the operations of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos with the arrival of flight UA142 from the airline’s Houston hub, George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
United said the aircraft will now operate nonstop service five times weekly between Lagos and Houston. With the launch, United became the second airline to operate the giant bird to Nigeria. Some few months ago, Ethiopian Airlines had launched the same aircraft brand to Lagos from its base in Addis Ababa.
However, Boeing 787 aircraft has been faced with several safety challenges especially its battery, which culminated in its suspension in January by Federal Airports Administration, FAA, of the United States of America, USA. But the aircraft manufacturing company and FAA in June gave the aircraft a clean bill of health to return to the skies globally.
An online statement sent by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria stated that customers will notice a real difference on board the 787 Dreamliner, adding that the aircraft is the world’s most advanced and efficient passenger aircraft, with a range of features that improve the overall flying experience.
Commenting on the launch to Lagos, the Vice President Atlantic & Pacific Sales, United Airlines, Mr. James Mueller, said that the introduction of the 787 means that United now offers customers in Nigeria an unbeatable combination for trans-Atlantic travel with the most comfortable aircraft, industry- leading products and services, nonstop access to one of the United States’ leading business centres and connections from its Houston hub to cities across the Americas.
The statement stated that the aircraft is configured with 36 flatbed seats in United BusinessFirst and 183 seats in United Economy, including 70 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
Customers experience greater comfort with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other passenger-friendly features.
All customers benefit from on-demand entertainment at every seat and lighting that replicates a full day or night on longhaul flights such as Lagos to Houston.
The aircraft’s use of lightweight composites, together with its modern engines and improved aerodynamic design, allow it to fly farther, faster and more efficiently than similar-sized conventional aircraft. United’s Boeing 787 Lagos-Houston service, UA143, departs Lagos on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 10:35 p.m., arriving in Houston at 5:00 a.m. local time the next day.
The return flight, UA142, departs Houston on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 8:15 p.m., arriving in Lagos at 2:50 p.m. the next day. Journey times are 12 hours 25 minutes westbound and 12 hours 35 minutes eastbound.