United could open Boeing 787 pilot base at Newark by April, report says

United Airlines appears to be pushing ahead with plans that would make its Newark Liberty hub a base for Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” flights.

The carrier will open 787 pilot positions there in April, FlightGlobal.com reports, citing an Aug. 1 newsletter update from United to its pilots.

“We are evaluating using the 787 flying out of Newark in the future and are in the early stages of planning for that by ensuring we have proper pilot staffing allocated at the right time," Paul Carlson, United’s managing director of crew resources, is quoted as saying in the newsletter.

Details have not been finalized, but FlightGlobal writes:

"Carlson previously told pilots in May that United was considering opening a 787 base at Newark around April 2019, with an eye on placing its new 787-10s there."

At the time, Carlson did not address “specific EWR 787 mission details,” but did note that “the 787-10 is well-suited for European destinations." EWR is the three-letter airport code for Newark.

PHOTO ARCHIVES: United Airlines unveils its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The “dash 10” variant of the 787 Dreamliner is Boeing’s biggest version yet of the long-range aircraft. Singapore Airlines became the first airline in the world to take delivery of a 787-10 in March. The one-stop, 24-hour ferry flight from Boeing’s South Carolina Dreamliner factory to Singapore’s main base in Singapore became one of the longest aircraft delivery flights ever for Boeing.

As for United, its first 787-10 is expected to arrive to the carrier from South Carolina later this year. The carrier has firm orders for 14 of the “stretched” version of the Dreamliner and is expected to have three of those in its fleet by the end of 2018.

Though bigger than the the -9 and -8 versions of the Dreamliner, its maximum flight range is shorter. That makes it a good fit for high-density medium-haul routes, including many of the trans-Atlantic routes United flies from Newark.

FlightGlobal has already reported that United’s 787-10s will be configured with 318 seats, including 41 lie-flat seats in “Polaris” business class, 21 in an international-style premium economy section and 253 in coach. Of the coach seats, 45 will be extra-legroom seats.

United has not previously said where it intends to base or fly its 787-10s. The carrier already flies about 36 other 787 models, a mix of the smaller 787-8 and 787-9 models.

United currently has 787 pilot bases at Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington Dulles and Houston Bush Intercontinental.

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