United to fly Dreamliner on Denver-Tokyo route
Tickets to ride on Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner have gone on sale at a U.S. airline for the first time, after United announced its Denver-to-Tokyo service this week.
Seats are available now for flights starting some months ahead -- the first is scheduled to take off from Denver International Airport on March 31, 2013, and return from Tokyo Narita the following day.
United CEO Jeff Smisek was enthusiastic about his company’s getting its hands on the new Boeing, calling the Dreamliner “the coolest airplane in the sky.”
Long and thin
The Denver-Tokyo route is one of those low-traffic flights sometimes described as “long and thin,” meaning it’s intercontinental, but not in particularly high demand, due to the size of one or both cities it connects.
That makes the Dreamliner suitable for profit-squeezed airlines, as with a little over 200 seats it's both smaller than other long-haul craft and fuel-efficient.
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock threw his weight behind the new Japan link.
“Opening this next frontier of opportunity with a nonstop flight to Tokyo will create new jobs,” he said, adding that it will, “generate more than $130 million in annual economic benefit to Colorado, and elevate Denver as a world-class city on the global stage.”
One-way tickets for the 12-hour, 9,300-kilometer flight are currently selling for around $1,300 on the United booking website.
The only Dreamliners currently in service already fly out of Japan as part of the JAL and ANA fleets.