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Tue, 29 June 2021

United Airlines Orders 270 New Airbus and Boeing Aircraft

(29 June 2021) United Airlines today ordered 270 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft, the largest combined order in the airline's history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade.

When combined with the current order book, United expects to introduce more than 500 new, narrow-body aircraft: 40 in 2022, 138 in 2023 and as many as 350 in 2024 and beyond.

That means in 2023 alone, United's fleet will, on average, add about one new narrow-body aircraft every three days.

United's new aircraft order 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 150 Boeing 737 MAX 10s and 70 Airbus A321neos will come with a new signature interior that includes seat-back entertainment in every seat, larger overhead bins for every passenger's carry-on bag and the fastest available in-flight WiFi, as well as a bright look-and-feel with LED lighting.

United Airlines today ordered 270 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft, the largest combined order in the airline's history.. Click to enlarge.

The airline expects to fly the first 737 MAX 8 with the signature interior this summer and to begin flying the 737 MAX 10 and the Airbus A321neo in early 2023.

What's more, United intends to upgrade 100% of its mainline, narrow-body fleet to these standards by 2025.

This order will also significantly boost United's total number of mainline daily departures and available seats across the airline's North American network, as well as the number of premium seats, both United First and Economy Plus. Specifically, United expects it will have on average 53 premium seats per North American departure by 2026, an increase of about 75% over 2019, and more than any competitor in North America.

"Our United Next vision will revolutionize the experience of flying United as we accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel," said United CEO, Scott Kirby. "By adding and upgrading this many aircraft so quickly with our new signature interiors, we'll combine friendly, helpful service with the best experience in the sky, all across our premier global network. At the same time, this move underscores the critical role United plays in fueling the broader U.S. economy we expect the addition of these new aircraft will have a significant economic impact on the communities we serve in terms of job creation, traveler spending and commerce."

Adding the new 737 MAX and Airbus A321neo aircraft means United will replace older, smaller mainline jets and at least 200 single-class regional jets with larger aircraft, which the airline expects will lead to significant sustainability benefits compared to older planes: an expected 11% overall improvement in fuel efficiency and an expected 17-20% lower carbon emission per seat compared to older planes.

United's 737 MAX 8 has 16 United First seats and 54 Economy Plus seats.

The 737 MAX 10, the largest member of the MAX family, makes up the majority of United's new order and will be configured with 20 United First seats and 64 Economy Plus seats.

The new A321neo aircraft are expected to have a United First and Economy Plus seat count similar to that of the 737 MAX 10.

"We'll deliver a better, more consistent experience, with more features for more customers, faster than ever. While some airlines are reducing the number of economy seats with extra leg room, United will offer the most premium seats in North America, taking a different, more customer-friendly approach," said Andrew Nocella, United's EVP and Chief Commercial Officer. "This is United playing to our strengths - the location of our U.S. hubs means we're uniquely positioned to focus on premium products, business travel and global flying like no other U.S. airline. Our new, signature interior creates a more consistent product across our mainline fleet - with a focus on the amenities that customers value most like seat back screens, fast WiFi and extra storage - to further set ourselves apart."

Each new 737 MAX and A321neo will have the industry's fastest available in-flight WiFi that lets customers stream video from online services.

The aircraft also will have Bluetooth technology throughout for easy connections between wireless headphones and the seatback entertainment screens.

By 2026, United expects its use of aircraft in this new order alone will lower the airline's total carbon emissions per seat up to 15%.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: United Airlines, Airbus, Boeing.

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