By James Wilkinson
United Airlines is set to finally introduce economy seats with entertainment-on-demand on Australian flights next year as the carrier upgrades its trans-Pacific services.
From April 1, 2014, United will replace its Boeing 747-400 aircraft with Boeing 777-200s in a three-class configuration – First, BusinessFirst and Economy – that feature not just seat-back entertainment, but access to power outlets.
The move means the airline that’s currently offering the cheapest tickets on average from Sydney to Los Angeles and San Francisco will have a comparable product to what’s available on Delta, Qantas and Virgin Australia.
It’s positive news for the meetings industry, given the surge in conference and incentive bookings to the United States at present.
“The 777 will be the ideal aircraft for our Australia routes in terms of both capacity and customer amenities,” said United’s vice president of Atlantic and Pacific sales, James Mueller.
“Our trans-Pacific services from Sydney and Melbourne are an important part of United’s global route network, and we look forward to offering our customers a full range of inflight products and services on the 777.”
The 777s are also expected to be equipped with inflight WiFi, offering connectivity between Australia and the United States.