United Airlines has made the largest aircraft order in its history and the biggest by an individual airline in the last 10 years.
It has ordered 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft as part of its ‘United Next’ plan, which will see the total number of available seats per domestic departure rise by almost 30%, but with significantly lower carbon emissions per seat.
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.
The latest aircraft order of 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, the “industry’s fastest available” in-flight WiFi and a “bright look-and-feel” with LED lighting.
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.
United also intends to upgrade 100% of its mainline, narrow-body fleet to these standards by 2025.
“Our United Next vision will revolutionise 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.”