United Expands Fleet with Orders for 110 More Aircraft
Boeing and United Airlines announced on Tuesday that the airline is exercising options to order fifty 787-9 Dreamliners. Also on Tuesday, Airbus shared that United placed an order for 60 more A321neo aircraft.
In addition to ordering 50 more airplanes from Boeing, United also secured an additional 50 options. CEO Scott Kirby remarked, “This order takes our already successful United Next plan into the next decade and beyond.”
“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,” he added.
The airline now has the largest order book for Dreamliners—150 firm orders—and could become the world’s largest operator of 787s.
United received its first 787-9 Dreamliner in 2014 as the aircraft’s launch customer in North America. The airline was also the launch customer for the 787-8 variant.
According to Boeing, “The enhanced efficiency and performance of the 787 reduces fuel use and emissions by up to 25% compared with the airplanes it replaces, depending on the configuration. The 787-9 has a globe-spanning range that allows carriers to fly up to 7,565 nautical miles while seating up to 296 passengers.”
This week’s order of 60 Airbus A321neo aircraft also supports United’s “United Next” program to bring new planes into its fleet. The airline has previously placed orders for 50 A321XLR and 70 A321neo aircraft.
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, commented, “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. With regard to operations, the A321neo’s fuel efficiency, lower carbon footprint and lower maintenance and operating costs will be a game changer.”
According to Airbus, “The A321neo provides superior environmental performance featuring the lowest CO₂ emissions per seat in its class. By incorporating new generation engines and Sharklets, the A321neo brings a 50% noise reduction and more than 20% fuel savings and CO₂ reduction compared to previous generation single-aisle aircraft.”