A United Airlines 787 Dreamliner receives a ceremonial wash as it arrives at O'Hare international Airport in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, from Houston, after making United's inaugural 787 revenue flight. The aircraft is touted to be much more fuel efficient than any other similar plane and has a host of passenger amenities, such as larger windows, special lighting and filtered air. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: January 6, 2013 9:51AM
One of United Airlines’ three new, long-awaited Boeing 787 Dreamliners made an emergency landing in New Orleans on Tuesday because of a mechanical issue.
Chicago-based United says the Boeing 787 was flying from Houston to Newark, N.J., when the issue arose. It landed without incident in New Orleans at 9:25 a.m. Central time. Fire trucks met the plane, which is common in emergency landings.
The airline and Boeing, also based in Chicago, said they are working together to determine the cause of the unscheduled stop.
“We are aware of the event and at our customer’s request we are working to understand what happened,” said Boeing spokeswoman Lori Gunter.
United says the flight carried 174 passengers and 10 crew members. United spokeswoman Christen David says the company made arrangements for the passengers on a different aircraft to continue the flight to Newark.
The airline made its Dreamliner debut with a flight from Houston to Chicago Nov. 4. The flight came after multiple production delays, with United taking possession of its first 787 in September, more than three years after its originally scheduled delivery date.
The mid-size, wide-body jet is extremely fuel efficient and is the first mid-size plane capable of flying big-jet distances. This makes it possible and profitable for airlines to offer new, non-stop routes.