Combined winglet technology will save United airlines $200 million a year

On 19/02/2014, in Airline corner, by steve

ScimitarA United Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft freshly retrofitted with new Split Scimitar Winglets took to the skies yesterday, marking the first commercial flight worldwide to operate with the advanced winglet technology. United flight 1273 on Tuesday took off from the airline’s Houston hub and flew to Los Angeles. The airline installed the innovative winglets on the Boeing 737-800 after the FAA approved the technology made by Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) earlier this month.

“We are proud to be the first airline in the world to fly with this unrivaled winglet technology that cuts our fuel consumption while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions,” said Ron Baur, United’s vice president of fleet. “We appreciate APB’s commitment to developing fuel-saving technology and look forward to realizing savings that come from the improved fuel efficiency.”

This new winglet design demonstrates significant aircraft drag reduction over the basic Blended Winglet configuration United uses on its current fleet. Using a newly patented design, the program retrofits United’s Boeing Next Generation 737 Blended Winglets by replacing the aluminum winglet tip cap with a new aerodynamically shaped “Scimitar”TM winglet tip cap and by adding a new Scimitar-tipped ventral strake. The new design will reduce fuel consumption by up to 2 percent per aircraft.

Last year, United served as the launch customer for the Split Scimitar winglet when it made a firm commitment with APB to retrofit its 737-800 and 737-900ER aircraft.

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United Airlines Launches 100th Aircraft with Satellite Wi-Fi

On 14/10/2013, in Airline corner, by steve

United Airlines has launched its 100th aircraft equipped with satellite Wi-Fi Internet connectivity, offering more customers the ability to stay connected inflight. United offers satellite Wi-Fi on more long-haul overseas flights than any other U.S.-based carrier, enabling customers throughout the aircraft to connect to the Internet via their personal devices and remain productive.

United is outfitting approximately 30 aircraft each month with satellite Wi-Fi technology and expects to have nearly 200 aircraft equipped with the service by the end of 2013. The airline currently offers satellite Wi-Fi on 13 Boeing 747 aircraft, which fly international routes to and from San Francisco – the country’s premier trans-Pacific hub – as well as routes to and from Los Angeles.

United also offers satellite Wi-Fi on more than half of its combined fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft, which operate in North America markets, and air-to-ground Internet connectivity on its entire fleet of Boeing 757 transcontinental p.s. Premium Service aircraft, which operate between New York Kennedy and Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“United is improving the inflight experience and offering more customers the ability to stay connected, whether traveling throughout the country or abroad,” said Jeff Foland, executive vice president of marketing, technology and strategy. “The expansion of satellite Wi-Fi capability underscores our commitment to provide our customers with the user-friendly experience they expect from the world’s leading airline.”

In-Flight Entertainment Options

United currently offers live television on 200 aircraft and plans to equip those aircraft with satellite Wi-Fi. The airline expects to introduce the first Boeing 737 aircraft equipped with Ka-band satellite technology into service later this fall.

Additionally this fall, United will begin rolling-out Wi-Fi-enabled wireless entertainment, which the airline expects to eventually have on more than 200 aircraft, including Airbus A319s and A320s, Boeing 747s and other fleets by mid-2014. This new option will offer customers on-demand programming from a library of movies and television shows, and equipped aircraft will offer more than 150 movies and nearly 200 television shows through its wireless network. Customers may access these entertainment options with a host of portable electronic devices, including many laptops, smartphones and tablets.

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Proposed route from San Francisco hub would be first service by a U.S. carrier to mainland China beyond Beijing, Shanghai

On 29/08/2013, in Airline corner, by steve

United Airlines has ¬†applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation for authority to begin nonstop service linking the airline’s San Francisco hub with Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city, effective June 9, 2014.

787United intends to use the world’s most advanced passenger airplane, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, to operate three-times-weekly service to Chengdu. If approved, Chengdu will be the ninth destination United serves in the Asia/Pacific region nonstop from San Francisco, from which United offers more nonstop trans-Pacific flights from the United States than any other carrier – nearly twice as many as any airline from any West Coast city.

Flight Schedule
The proposed flights, subject to government approval, will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:35 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 6:50 p.m. the following day (all times local). Service from Chengdu will depart at 10 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 8:50 a.m. the same day. Flying times will be approximately 14 hours, 15 minutes westbound and 13 hours, 50 minutes eastbound. This new nonstop flight will shave nearly four hours off the typical travel time between the two cities.

About Chengdu
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China, is the country’s fourth largest city, with a population of approximately 14 million in the urban area. In recent years, Chengdu has been one of the country’s fastest-developing cities economically, and more than 200 Fortune 500 companies have a presence in the city. Sichuan is famous as the natural habitat of the giant panda and home to one of China’s most popular cuisines.

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United 787s back in business

On 13/05/2013, in Airline corner, by steve

Domestic flights begin this month and international flights in June

United Airlines is preparing to reintroduce Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights, bringing back the world’s most advanced and efficient aircraft on domestic and international routes.

crew“Our customers responded extremely well when we introduced the 787, and we know they’ll welcome it back,” said Pete McDonald, United’s chief operations officer. “Boeing and the FAA were diligent in their work to fix the battery issue, and now the Dreamliner is poised to fly the missions we planned and provide our customers with the features and reliability they want on their long-haul flights.”

Boeing already converted two of United’s six Dreamliners to the new FAA standards and will soon convert the remainder of United’s fleet. The airline has scheduled flights to begin on May 20 on routes from Houston to other domestic hubs. United will begin international 787 flying on the Denver-Tokyo route on June 10.

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,446 flights a day to more than 370 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America.

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Airline mixes up its beverage service with an American-made, award-winning craft spirit

On 10/05/2013, in Airline corner, by steve

titos-signed-bottleUnited Airlines announced that Tito’s Handmade Vodka will be the exclusive vodka brand served on all of the airline’s flights worldwide. United customers have enjoyed the award-winning craft vodka since the company began serving the spirit on May 1.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka, an Austin-based company, is one of the fastest growing micro distilleries in the United States. The handcrafted spirit earned a unanimous Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and it was awarded a score of 95 by Wine Enthusiast for its impeccable purity and clean taste.

“United was looking for a great tasting vodka for our customers, and we’ve found it in Tito’s Handmade Vodka,” said Lynda Coffman, United’s vice president of food services. “Tito’s is a small-business success story with an outstanding product. United has a rich history in Texas, and we are proud and excited to bring Tito’s around the globe to more than 370 destinations worldwide.”

Tito’s Handmade Vodka is now sold in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canadian provinces.

“Over the years, people have embraced my handmade vodka, traveling with it on their own and spreading the word. Now that Tito’s Handmade Vodka is inflight, I’m glad its debut is with United Airlines,” said Tito Beveridge, founder and master distiller of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. “We’re excited for the new venture with United and look forward to offering flyers around the world the chance to experience a true American spirit.”

Vodka is the number one-selling spirit served on United flights and is commonly requested on the rocks. Vodka tonic and Bloody Mary cocktails are the airline’s customers’ most preferred inflight sipping styles.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka is available for sale in economy class on flights where a beverage service is offered and may be purchased for $7 with a major credit or debit card in United’s cashless cabins. Customers flying in United’s premium cabins may enjoy the spirit at no cost.

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Customers can see their TSA Precheck status before arriving at the checkpoint

On 05/05/2013, in Battle stations, by steve

The by now well known one size fits all approach to aviation security is slowly giving way to a risk-based model which is expected to provide the same, or even improved, level of security while making the screening process smoother. Part of this is the TSA’s Precheck prescreening procedure.

tsaUnited Airlines has now announced it is providing advance notice to customers who are selected for the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) prescreening program TSA Precheck. Eligible United customers will start to see the TSA Precheck indicator on mobile boarding passes, boarding passes printed at home or from the kiosks at some airports, allowing customers to effectively route themselves to available TSA Precheck lanes.

“Our customers tell us how much they appreciate that TSA Precheck expedites their security screening experience. By giving advance notice of TSA Precheck eligibility, in collaboration with TSA, we are making the screening process easier and more seamless,” said Alex Marren, United’s senior vice president of network operations and United Express.

The TSA Precheck logo will appear directly above an eligible passenger’s name on printed boarding passes. On mobile boarding passes, customers should look for the TSA Precheck logo at the top right corner above the barcode. The TSA Precheck indicator will appear on boarding passes throughout a customer’s itinerary whether or not the airport has TSA Precheck, so customers are encouraged to check that the airport is a participating location here.

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United Airlines Proudly Sponsors International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association Global Convention in Chicago

On 02/05/2013, in Airline corner, by steve

IGLTAUnited Airlines, an official sponsor of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Global Convention, welcomes tourism professionals from more than 20 countries as they meet in Chicago for the organization’s 30th annual event May 2 – 4.

IGLTA, one of the world’s leading travel networks, is dedicated to connecting and educating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travelers and the businesses that welcome and support them along the way.

“With more than 85,000 co-workers from around the world, United proudly celebrates the richness of not just our employees’ diverse backgrounds, but our customers’ too,” said Dave Hilfman, United’s senior vice president of worldwide sales, during the IGLTA press conference today at the Willis Tower Skydeck. “As we say, diversity flies with us. And United is honored to sponsor IGLTA’s convention in Chicago this year.”

The airline has a long-standing relationship with IGLTA spanning more than 10 years.

This sponsorship aligns with United’s commitment to create a work environment where all its employees across the world feel included and empowered to make a measurable difference in its success. United offers policies, programs, benefits, privileges and recognition designed to reward and support the success of its diverse workforce.

Earlier this year, Equality Illinois named United 2013 Business Leader of the Year for its LGBT policies. In 2012, United received a perfect score for the fifth consecutive year on the 2013 Corporate Equality Index, an annual survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that ranks top companies on their policies regarding LGBT employees.

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Paris… here we come. SFO-CDG direct flights by United

On 27/04/2013, in Airline corner, by steve

paris1On 26 April,United Airlines launched daily nonstop service from San Francisco to Paris, connecting Bay Area travelers to the City of Light and strengthening the airline’s largest West Coast hub.

“We are excited to offer customers new service between two of the world’s most culturally and economically diverse cities,” said John Slater, United’s vice president of sales – Americas. “Our customers tell us that they value convenient, nonstop service to top business and leisure destinations throughout the globe, and the launch of today’s flight reflects our commitment to meeting our customers’ needs.”

“We are thrilled about United’s new nonstop service between San Francisco and Paris,” said Joe D’Allesandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association. “France is one of San Francisco’s most important and fastest growing international markets, and this new service will increase our competitiveness and give potential visitors a new option to visit California.”

Flight 990 departs San Francisco daily at 2:45 p.m. and arrives at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 10:45 a.m. the next day. For the return, flight 991 departs Paris at 10:05 a.m. and arrives in San Francisco at 1 p.m. the same day. (All times are local.)

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United Airlines will reduce fuel consumption and equivalent CO2 emissions through better operations, technology and engineering

On 12/04/2013, in Environment - Without hot air, by steve

ecoskies_unitedUnited Airlines is honoring Earth Month by announcing its new goal to save 85 million gallons of fuel in 2013, equivalent to 828,750 metric tons of CO2 or roughly $275 million dollars at current fuel prices. Fuel is the airline’s single largest expense and its primary focus environmentally, and the company has several initiatives in place that will allow it to achieve its fuel efficiency goal.

“We are committed to reducing our fuel consumption and our environmental footprint,” said United’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smisek. “I am proud of the actions we take every day throughout the year that help shape a more sustainable future for our customers, our co-workers and the communities we serve.”

United has already improved its fuel efficiency by 32 percent since 1994 through programs such as improved flight planning, single engine taxiing, lighter products onboard, and use of ground power instead of the onboard auxiliary power unit to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions while aircraft are parked.

The airline is also investing in a modern, fuel-efficient fleet to replace less fuel-efficient aircraft. In 2012, United ordered 150 brand-new Boeing 737 narrowbody aircraft powered by fuel-efficient CFM engines. In addition to purchasing new aircraft, United is also improving the performance of its current fleet. The airline was the launch customer for the new Split Scimitar winglet, which is an advanced and improved winglet for the 737 Next-Gen aircraft and helps the aircraft consume up to 25 percent less fuel per seat than the 737-500 aircraft the company is retiring. United already has other winglets installed on more than 300 of its aircraft, including its entire Boeing 737 fleet and many of its 757 and 767 aircraft. Winglets reduce drag on the aircraft, ultimately reducing fuel burn and carbon emissions by up to five percent.

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United Airlines Announces Concessions for New Terminal B South Concourse at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport

On 03/04/2013, in Airline corner, by steve

INCLUDES FIRST-TIME AIRPORT CONCESSIONS BY CELEBRITY CHEFS WITH LOCAL AND REGIONAL TIES

United Airlines¬†unveiled the dining and retail concessions for the airline’s new Terminal B south concourse at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The list is led by two new celebrity-chef venues with local and regional ties, and other first-time dining concessions with Texas roots, as well as several familiar airport favorites.

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The $95 million south concourse redevelopment, which will open in mid-April, is a new 225,000-square-foot facility that will accommodate United Express regional flights. At nearly four times the size of the previous south concourse, the new space will provide a better customer experience, featuring modern and expanded gate-lounge areas, 17 food, beverage and retail concessions and a spacious central passenger lounge with expansive tarmac views.

“Travelers want the same high-quality dining and shopping experiences they have at home, and we selected the new Terminal B concessions with that in mind,” said Kate Gebo, United’s vice president of corporate real estate. “We’re pleased to introduce several first-time airport concessions from well-known restaurants that offer variations on Texas flavors, along with established airport concession brands that are already popular with our customers.”

First-time airport concession 3rd Bar Oyster & Eating House is the creation of Houston native and celebrated chef Bryan Caswell and noted food and beverage director Bill Floyd. In 2008, Bon Appetit magazine named Caswell and Floyd’s seafood restaurant Reef, located in Houston’s Midtown, the Number 1 seafood restaurant in the United States, and Caswell was named among Food & Wine magazine’s Top 10 Best New Chefs in 2009. Caswell has been seen on the Food Network’s Next Iron Chef and on Bravo’s Top Chef. He is also a member of United’s Congress of Chefs.

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