United Continental has become fhe first US airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

United plans to fly the aircraft from Boeing Field in Seattle to its Houston hub this week where it will be used for a month-long training programme.

The aircraft is the first of five 787s United will receive this year and it has ordered a further 50.

The long-range jet will initially be deployed on domestic routes connecting United’s Houston hub, with the first commercial flight to Chicago O’Hare on November 4. Routes to Newark, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and Washington, DC will be added later.

In December, United is expected to launch international flights to Amsterdam from Houston with the aircraft later adding services from its hubs to Tokyo, Lagos, and Shanghai. The 787 will also fly from Heathrow to Washington DC for two months from February 4.

United is the sixth airline to take delivery of the 787, joining All Nippon Airways and Air India.