United-Continental's first 787 to enter service in 2H2012

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United-Continental plans to put its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner into revenue service in the second half of 2012.

The airline's president and CEO Jeff Smisek gave the update at today's Deutsche Bank Aviation and Transportation Conference.

United-Continental, which has 50 787s on order, is the North American launch customer of the aircraft and plans to operate its first 787 between Houston and Auckland.

It expects to take delivery of six 787s and 19 new Boeing 737-900ERs in 2012, said Smisek.

Despite the new deliveries, the airline expects to keep capacity relatively flat next year with "modest growth" in international capacity and a shrinkage in domestic capacity, he added.