United Airlines announced an order for 110 new aircraft – including 50 long-haul Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner And 60 single-aisle Airbus A321neo.
The US airline converted previous options and purchase rights into firm orders for 50 Boeing 787-9s to be delivered between 2028 and 2031, and 60 Airbus A321neos to be delivered between 2028 and 2030, it said in a press release published yesterday evening. It also secured new options for up to 50 additional Boeing 787s and purchase rights for 40 more Airbus A321neos at the end of the decade.
This latest order is United Airlines’ second major aircraft purchase in the post-pandemic period. Last December, it confirmed a mega-order for 100 Boeing 787s and 100 737 MAXs. It currently operates 70 Boeing 787s (in -8/-9/-10 versions) and now has 150 more on firm order, more than any other airline in the world. It plans to take delivery of approximately 800 new planessingle-aisle aircraft as well as wide-body aircraft, between 2023 and the end of 2032.
United Airlines previously ordered 50 Airbus A321XLRs and 70 A321neos. With this new order, the American airline’s direct purchase commitment from the European aircraft manufacturer now covers 180 single-aisle A321 family aircraft.
“We are building a bright future at United and this order propels our already successful United Next plan into the next decade and beyond“, declared its CEO, Scott Kirby. “Our long-term planning and focus has helped us overtake other airlines that have been standing still. I am confident our strategy is the right one as we continue to add new, larger aircraft to take full advantage of our growing international and domestic flying opportunities.“
Among U.S. airlines, international flights, which generate higher margins, are the most important for United Airlines, accounting for about 39% of its passenger revenue this year, an increase from the pre-pandemic period . With hubs based in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York-Newark, San Francisco and Washington, DC, United Airlines operates the most comprehensive international route network among North American airlines and is now the largest airline in the world, measured in terms of seat capacity.