United Airlines Inaugural Houston-Sydney Service

By Grahame Hutchison on Saturday, 20th January 2018

This morning at Sydney Airport, United Airlines operated their inaugural UAL101 service from Houston Texas USA, with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N35953 touching down on Runway 34L at 0625L. The 14,312km route took 17hr 7min to complete, making it the fourth longest air route in the world, and the longest by any American carrier. The aircraft overflew the field at 6,000ft, and then turned left onto downwind for a Runway 34L approach. The flight is scheduled to arrive at 0630L, but two days after it departed Houston, while on the return flight from Sydney to Houston, the flight arrives in Houston 75min before it departed Sydney. United's Dreamliners are configured with 252 seats: 48 Polaris flat beds in business class, 63 Economy Plus seats and 141 economy seats. United's connections to 70 cities across North America, will provide a one stop service to Sydney that is faster and more convenient than before.

Flight Times

UAL101 Houston-Sydney - Departs Houston at 8:00pm and arrives in Sydney at 6:30am two days later.

UAL100 Sydney-Houston - Departs Sydney at 11:50am and arrives in Houston at 10:35 the same day.


United Airlines Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner N35953 overflying Sydney Airport.

Rolling out after touchdown on Runway 34L, N35953 is seen here in the post sunrise light with long shadows.

N35953 brakes to take the ALFA 2 Rapid exit from Runway 34, passing the iconic old Control Tower and Shep's Mound (arrival images from this location).

United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N35953 exits on the ALFA 2 Rapid with flaps and leading slats still extended.

The inaugural Houston-Sydney service received a water cannon salute from ARFF Tenders 2 & 5 as it turned onto the International 2 Apron.

 The United Airlines Dreamliner passes through its water cannon salute.

UAL101 flew over the airport before landing on Runway 34L. After exiting on the ALFA 2 Rapid it taxied on JULIET, YANKEE, GOLF and ALFA before arriving at Gate 25.

After the passengers had left the aircraft and the cargo had been unloaded, it was towed from Gate 25 along Taxiway ALFA to International Standoff Bay 71.

United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N35953 was parked on International Standoff Bay 71 for several hours. It later returned to the terminal to operate UAL870 from Sydney to San Francisco.

While parked at International Standoff Bay 71, United Airlines Flight UAL839 from Los Angeles landed on Runway 34L (N27958).

 While parked at International Standoff Bay 71, United Airlines Flight UAL863 from San Francisco landed on Runway 34L (N38955).


The inaugural return service from Sydney to Houston departed on Runway 34L at 1215L, and was operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N38955. This aircraft operated the inbound San Francisco-Sydney UAL863 service earlier in the morning.


United Airlines flight UAL100 to Houston rotates on Runway 34L.

United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N38955 climbs out past the Qantas First Class Lounge.

The undercarriage begins to retract after taking off from Sydney International Airport.

The undercarriage doors just about closed, ready for its long journey home to Houston.

After leaving Gate 51 N38955 taxied on YANKEE, JULIET and ALFA before departing on Runway 34L. Shortly after takeoff it turned right to follow the northern shoreline of Sydney Harbour, before it set of across the Pacific Ocean on its way to Houston.

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