Forty-six United Polaris Business Seats and 22 United Premium Plus seats feature on the five daily services operated by newly reconfigured Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
The aircraft are also fitted with 52 regular Economy and 48 Economy Plus seats with an additional five inches of legroom.
Polaris will also feature on all three daily services between Heathrow and Chicago by the end of the year, possibly as early as November, says Bob Schumacher, United’s Managing Director of Sales for the UK and Ireland.
Speaking to media aboard a B767-300ER at Heathrow’s Terminal Two this week, he added: “By the start of next year we will have a fleet of 17 B767-300ER aircraft – that is half of our total operation out of Heathrow – locked into either New York or Chicago.
“And by the end of 2020 the rest of the fleet on our London services will be done as we convert our fleet of B787 -8, 9 and 10 aircraft,” he added.
Polaris Premium Plus seats are already proving popular among corporates and SMEs, claimed Schumacher.
“We have seen a significant increase in customer demand for premium seats and we are pleased to expand the number of these seats between London and New York,” he said, explaining that 767-300ER aircraft carry an additional 16 business class seats.
“With our Business, Premium Plus, Economy Plus and Economy products we have a range of options for today’s business travellers,” he said.
Features of the Polaris cabin include Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, amenity kits with products from Sunday Riley, ‘elevated’ food and beverages and access to the Polaris lounge at Newark Liberty International and the arrivals lounge and United Club at Heathrow.
Premium Plus customers receive Premier access check-in, complimentary checked bags, more spacious seats, upgraded dining, an amenity kit and Saks Fifth Avenue bedding.
The Polaris product is emblematic of United’s evolution into a world-class airline that has become the largest international carrier out of the U.S. in recent years, said Schumacher.
“We are now in a really good place and Polaris is a symbol of that. For several years now, since a new management team was put in place in 2015, we have been consistently profitable, well planned, well managed and a strategically driven company.
“We have played our part in shedding the old image of U.S. carriers as being behind other airlines when it comes to top-class products and putting the customer first.”
United also flies from Heathrow to Washington/Dulles, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver, which this winter converts from a summer-only service to a year-round route.