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United Dreamliner 787 Starts Flying


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United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL - Analyst Report) announced that its subsidiary – United Airlines – will start operating its 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The services will be available daily and nonstop between the Los Angeles International Airport and Tokyo Narita International Airport from January 3.

United Airlines previously provided the service through a 777 aircraft. This is the company’s first international flight on a regular basis by a 787 Dreamliner.

787 Dreamliner – manufactured by The Boeing Company (BA - Analyst Report) – has 36 seats in United BusinessFirst, 70 seats in United Economy Plus and 113 seats in United Economy. The aircraft will render superior facilities for its flyers including better lighting, larger windows, bigger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and improved ventilation systems.

United Airlines expects to provide a more comfortable and relaxed flying experience along with commendable operating efficiency and less emissions. The company aims to bring in more international Dreamliner flights in the coming days.

Based in Chicago, United Continental Holdings Inc. is the holding company for both United Airlines and Continental Airlines. The company, through United and Continental and their regional carriers, operates approximately 5,577 flights each day to 378 U.S. domestic and international destinations.

We expect United Continental to benefit from improving air travel demand, merger synergies, global network, rising unit revenue growth, strong competitive position, fleet and network optimization, hedging strategies and a strong liquidity position.

However, these positives will likely be overshadow by the concerns over escalating fuel prices, rising non-fuel expense, competitive threats, new advertising policy, unionized workforce and sluggish global economy. United Continental currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank that implies a short-term Hold rating for a period of one to three months.

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