United Airlines soon will start taking delivery of 14 new Boeing 777-300ERs, and most industry observers expect the aircraft will come with a new business class product.
But what will it be?
United has declined to say, with an airline spokeswoman telling me on Thursday, "the configuration is still under review." She added she had "Nothing to share today."
But industry sources told me on Thursday that United is starting to update internal manuals in preparation for the new planes, the first of which should arrive late this year. My sources said crews received new information this week.
Sources shared with me two diagrams of what the plane could look like.
This is the business class section. I have not seen anything like this on another airline. Many other airlines have a 1-2-1 configuration in business class, but that does not appear to be the case here. [Update: Some of you have commented that this could be a version of 1-2-1 and might be similar to what Thai Airways and some other airlines have. It seems to depend on how you interpret the diagram.]
My sources also sent a possible diagram of coach. Here, you see 10 seats across, or one more than most United 777s have today. But earlier this week, United confirmed plans to add a 10th seat on 19 of its existing 777s, so it is not a big surprise that the airline might go with 10 across for the new 777-300ERs.
I had hoped United would tell me what it planned for the configuration, but that did not happen, so I'll be watching to see how the airline decides to publicly share its plans for the 777-300ERs. We'll have to see if this is the official configuration.
In another 777-300ER development, United's senior vice president of flight operations told pilots last month that "most, if not all," of the new planes would fly from Newark, New Jersey. But that stuff always is subject to change.
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