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United Debuts First International Dreamliner Flights

United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Darren Booth | CNBC
United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner

United Airlines began international flights with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Los Angeles to Tokyo, Japan on Thursday—the first of many planned over water routes for the aircraft.

The long-delayed Boeing aircraft entered passenger service with United last November flying domestic routes. (Read more: Onboard United's Inaugural 787 Dreamliner Flight)

The 787's features include improved lighting, larger windows with automatic darkening shades, large overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation, providing higher humidity settings to help reduce the effects of long-haul flying.

United has received six of 50 787s on order with Boeing and is the first U.S. airline to operate the Dreamliner. "We are delighted to offer our customers in Los Angeles and Tokyo the comfort and spectacular flying experience of our new Boeing Dreamliner aircraft," said Jim Mueller, United's vice president of Atlantic and Pacific sales, in a press release.

United's 787 Dreamliner is configured with 36 lie-flat seats in BusinessFirst, 70 extra legroom seats in Economy Plus and 113 seats in economy.

Additional international routes planned for 2013 include Houston to both London and Amsterdam, and Denver to Tokyo. (Read more: United Airlines to Fly Denver-Tokyo Nonstop With Boeing 787)


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