United expands the fleet with a massive order

Boeing 737 MAX 9 United; Image by Boeing Boeing 737 MAX 9 United; Image by Boeing

United Airlines announced on 29 June, the purchase of 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft, the largest order in the airline’s history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade.

There are many reasons for ‘United Next’, the name under which United expands the fleet. The plan will increase the number of available domestic seats by almost 30%. Also, it will significantly lower carbon emissions per seat and create tens of thousands of jobs by 2026, all efforts that will have a positive, ripple effect across the broader U.S. economy.

United expands the fleet until 2024

When combined with the current order book, United expects to introduce more than 500 new aircraft until 2024 and beyond. United’s Boeing 737 MAX order book includes 380 airplanes, excluding 30 that have been delivered. United is the launch customer for the 737-10, for which the company placed its first order in 2017 by converting 100 737-9 orders to the larger 737-10 variant. The new order from Airbus complements the existing one for 50 A321XLR aircraft. This brings the total commitment from the airline to 120 A321 aircraft. A significant number of aircraft from this order will come from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama.

United expands the fleet with 50 737 MAX 8s, 150 737 MAX 10s and 70 A321neos will come with a new signature interior that includes seat-back entertainment in every seat, larger overhead bins, fast in-flight WiFi, as well as a bright look-and-feel with LED lighting. The airline expects to fly the first 737 MAX 8 this summer while 737 MAX 10 and Airbus A321neo in early 2023. What’s more, United intends to upgrade 100% of its narrow-body fleet to these standards by 2025 with a retrofit project.

Adding new aircraft means United will replace older, smaller jets. This will lead to significantly improved fuel efficiency and lower carbon emission per seat by 17-20%, compared to older planes.

United; Boeing; Airbus