United Airlines took ownership of its first Boeing 787-8 on 22 September, the carrier announced today.

It says that it will fly the aircraft, which is registered N20904, to its Houston Intercontinental hub later this week.

"As the North American launch customer, we are delighted to be getting our first 787 Dreamliner," says Jeff Smisek, chief executive of United. "As we continue to build the world's leading airline, we are excited for our customers and co-workers to experience this game-changing aircraft."

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The Chicago-based Star Alliance carrier will initially fly the 787 on routes between Houston and its other domestic hubs, beginning on 4 November. It will launch international service with the aircraft on 4 December.

United will receive five 787s this year, it says.

The airline has 50 787-8s on order.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news