United Airlines is this week giving select Chicagoans a sneak peek at a new plane that isn’t due to become part of its fleet until 2018, the Chicago Business Journal reports.
The Airbus A350 is a long-haul rival for Chicago-based Boeing’s 787 and 777. A handful are already in service with Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airways, but United has ordered 35 A350s and will be the first U.S. carrier to use the plane, the Business Journal reports.
An A 350 that is due to take park in the Oshkosh Air Show next week will be used as a demonstrator in Chicago this week:
As is now well-known, the Boeing 787 was plagued by delays before its debut, and plagued even further after its debut by problems relating to its lithium ion batteries. United already flies around a dozen Boeing 787 aircraft, primarily on international flights to Asian markets. So far, the A-350 rollout has been relatively smooth. […] United’s A-350s are expected to be configured with a premium business cabin and an economy cabin, though a United spokesman said no final decisions have yet been made about the layout of its A-350s.
Airbus A350 | (FP PHOTO / ERIC PIERMONTERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)