Skip to content
Home » Aircraft » United Boosts Fleet Sustainability with 110 New Aircraft

United Boosts Fleet Sustainability with 110 New Aircraft

United Airlines has ordered 110 new aircraft, set to be delivered starting in 2028. This significant fleet order is part of the airline’s United Next strategy. The order includes 50 Boeing 787-9s and 60 A321neo aircraft.

United Boosts Fleet Sustainability with 110 New Aircraft
United’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Image: United

In addition to the initial 110 aircraft, United Airlines has secured options for an additional 50 Boeing 787s and purchase rights for up to 40 A321neos, which can be exercised at the end of the decade.

United’s Fleet Strategy: Competitive Flexibility

These new orders will provide United Airlines with increased flexibility and support its long-term fleet expansion plans. The ordered aircraft deliveries are scheduled between 2028 and 2031 for the Boeing 787-9s and between 2028 and 2030 for the Airbus A321neos.

“We’re building a bright future at United and this order takes our already successful United Next plan into the next decade and beyond,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “Our planning and focus on the long term have helped us surge past other airlines that stood still. I’m convinced our strategy is the right one as we continue to add new, larger aircraft to take full advantage of our growing flying opportunities both internationally and domestically.”

United Boosts Fleet Sustainability with 110 New Aircraft
Boeing and United Airlines announced the carrier is expanding its 787 Dreamliner fleet, exercising options to order 50 787-9 airplanes and securing an additional 50 options. (Image: Boeing)

“United’s unprecedented commitment to the 787 Dreamliner family is a testament to the market-leading operating economics and reliability of Boeing’s widebody jets,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With the 787, United will enjoy all the synergies of operating one of the largest, most efficient fleets in the skies.”

United Airbus A321neo part of United's new aircraft orders.
United Airbus A321neo. Image: United

“Upon introduction of the A321neo into its fleet in the coming weeks, United will take full benefit of Airbus’ Airspace cabin, providing an exceptional customer and cabin crew experience completely in phase with the United Next initiative,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International. “With regard to operations, the A321neo’s fuel efficiency, lower carbon footprint and lower maintenance and operating costs will be a game changer for our partners at United.”

United expects to take delivery of about 800 new narrowbody and widebody aircraft between 2023 and the end of 2032.

Flying Larger Aircraft to More Places

United Airlines’ United Next plan focuses on increasing the capacity of their flights by operating larger aircraft with more available seats. Currently, United operates in major markets such as Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark/NYC, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. By implementing upgauging strategies, United aims to enhance connectivity both domestically and internationally. It’s worth noting that United Airlines is already the largest carrier on transatlantic and transpacific routes.

In 2019, United flights averaged 104 seats per departure, which was relatively low compared to other airlines. However, by 2027, United plans to increase this number by more than 40% to over 145 seats per departure. To achieve this, United has placed orders for 180 A321neo and 370 737 MAX aircraft, expected to be in service until 2030. The addition of these larger planes will not only increase the average seat count but also help decrease the per-seat costs.

United Airlines Fleet Expansion and Renewal

United’s order of 50 additional Boeing 787-9s for widebody aircraft will help streamline their international fleet. It provides benefits for both customers and employees. Furthermore, it will also lead to cost savings for the airline.

With this new order, they have 150 Boeing 787s on firm order. This makes United the airline with the highest number of orders for this aircraft model in the world.

United Airlines’ new aircraft will be delivered starting at the end of this decade. Depending on the demand and economic conditions, these planes can expand their fleet or replace older aircraft.

New Customer Amenities

United Airlines’ new aircraft will offer the same customer amenities, technological innovations, and fuel efficiency benefits as their previous orders.

On the narrowbodies, passengers can enjoy seatback screens, ample overhead room for carry-on luggage, Bluetooth connectivity, and fast Wi-Fi.

The widebody planes feature United Polaris® business class. It offers passengers their own pod equipped with lie-flat seats and 16-inch seatback screens. United Airlines has also announced new business-class amenity products and services from Therabody and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Lower Carbon Emissions

In addition to the passenger comforts, these new aircraft will reduce United’s carbon emissions per seat. This aligns with the airline’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, for example, offers up to 25% improvement in fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions compared to the older models it replaces. Similarly, the Airbus A321neo brings a 50% reduction in noise, more than 20% fuel savings, and a decrease in CO2 emissions compared to previous-generation single-aisle aircraft.

United Airlines plans for 75% of its fleet to comprise more sustainable new-generation aircraft by 2030.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner