United Airlines has announced two large orders with Boeing and Airbus for 110 more aircraft, with delivery beginning in 2028.

The order adds additional flexibility to the airline’s long-term fleet plan, with about 800 new narrow-body and wide-body aircraft expected to join the carrier between 2023 and the end of 2032.

United has converted previous options and purchase rights into firm orders for 50 Boeing 787-9s for delivery between 2028 through 2031.

It has also ordered 60 Airbus A321neos for delivery between 2028 and 2030.

The company also secured new options for up to 50 more Boeing 787s and purchase rights for an additional 40 A321neo aircraft at the end of the decade.

‘Building a bright future at United’

“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.”

A key component of the plan is growth in gauge, essentially flying larger planes with more available seats on the same route.

In 2019, the carrier averaged 104 seats per North American departure, among the lowest in the industry. By 2027, United expects that number to jump more than 40% to over 145.

The company now has 180 A321neo and over 370 737 MAX aircraft on firm order through 2030, a combination that will drive the average seats per departure even higher on these larger aircraft, with even lower anticipated per-seat costs.

United is already the largest carrier across the Atlantic and Pacific. The airline now has 150 Boeing 787s on firm order – more than any airline in the world. United expects that 75% of its fleet will be new-generation by 2030.
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