Live and Let’s Fly has learned that United Airlines will begin taking deliveries of Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2025 that feature a higher density of business class seats.
United Airlines Will Introduce New Premium-Heavy 787 Configuration in 2025
United Airlines currently operates a trio of 787 variants, including:
- 787-8 – featuring 28 business class seats, 21 premium economy class seats, 194 economy class seats
- 787-9 – featuring 48 business class seats, 21 premium economy class seats, 188 economy class seats
- 787-10 – featuring 44 business class seats, 21 premium economy class seats, 253 economy class seats
In 2022, United placed a confirmed order for 100 additional 787 Dreamliners with an option for 100 more. Deliveries will span eight years between 2024 and 2032 and United will be able to choose the variant according to its current needs.
We have learned that United is planning a new so-called “high-J” (J being the indicator for business class) configuration for some of the deliveries starting in 2025 (not all). While a final decision has not been made, United is weighing this configuration on both the 787-9 and 787-10.
It is not clear if United will maintain its existing Polaris Business Class seat or introduce a new business class seats for its later Dreamliner deliveries.
With only 44 business class seats, all located between doors 1 and 2, on the 787-10, my own guess is that the 787-10 is the more likely candidate for a more premium configuration. I can envision a mini-cabin behind door two, just like on the 787-9, which could have at least eight additional seats.
Currently British Airways sets the standard for a “high-J” aircraft with its 787-10, which features eight first class seats and 48 business class seats. That cabin features a business class suite that stretches back well beyond door two.
United is not alone. American Airlines will introduce a configuration with 52 business class seats on its 787-9, marking an industry-trend toward more business class seats.
While I still classify this news as a rumor, it comes from trusted sources and therefore I think we can safely say that United Airlines will debut an even more premium-heavy Dreamliner in 2025, though the variant has not been finalized. Even the very consideration of this configuration demonstrates sustained premium demand on longhaul aircraft that has been a financial boon to United on this side of the pandemic.