United Airlines will begin flights of its new Boeing 777-300ER – with the Polaris business class seats – between San Francisco and Hong Kong from March 25, 2017, replacing an ageing Boeing 747 on the route.
It's the first international route for the factory-fresh birds, and will follow almost three months of domestic US runs between Newark and San Francisco from February 16 to May 4.
United has 14 Boeing 777-300ERs on order and expects them all to be flying before the end of 2017 as the Star Alliance member moves to simultaneously roll out its Polaris product and wind back its Boeing 747 jumbo jet fleet.
Fully-flat beds, large video screens, direct aisle access from every seat, upmarket meals and bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue are all part of the Polaris package, with 60 business class seats in the Boeing 777-300ER (along with 102 seats in Economy Plus and 204 in economy).
San Francisco and Hong Kong are both in line to see new Polaris business class lounges in 2017, with San Fran sporting a flagship split-level design which will take over the space currently used by the Singapore Airlines and EVA Air lounges.
Those lounges will be restricted to business class travellers (and first class, at least until United rips out all first class seats from its aircraft), with all Mileage Plus card-holders and Star Alliance Gold equivalents directed to the less salubrious United Club lounges.