A United Airways Boeing 737 Max 9 plane lands at San Francisco Worldwide Airport.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Photos
The fleet plan is central to United’s purpose of capturing extra vacationers, significantly high-paying ones in main coastal hubs like San Francisco and Newark. In a wide-ranging technique plan, the airline stated it plans so as to add extra roomier seats and seat-back leisure, a departure from a earlier technique.
The airline additionally introduced a hiring spree of 25,000 staff for the brand new planes, together with pilots, flight attendants and mechanics.
Boeing shares have been up 0.9% in premarket buying and selling after the announcement. United’s have been down about 0.2%.
The order consists of 200 Boeing Max jets. Of these planes, 150 are Max 10 fashions. Boeing’s largest. The primary Max 10 take a look at flight was accomplished earlier this month. The remaining 50 Boeing planes are the of producer’s most-popular mannequin, the Max 8. The massive order on high of United’s current order ebook for Max planes is one other vote of confidence within the airplane maker, which has struggled to regain its footing after two Max crashes and a a number of manufacturing issues.
United additionally plans to order 70 Airbus 321neos, including to an order for dozens of long-range variations of the aircraft.
The service now has about 500 narrow-body plane arriving beginning subsequent yr.
About 200 of the planes will likely be used to develop the airline’s fleet of 500 planes, whereas 300 will go to switch older jets comparable to its Boeing 757-200 planes, which it should retire, stated Andrew Nocella, United’s chief business officer.
A few of these planes will substitute older single-class regional jets. That is a part of United’s push for higher-paying vacationers.
United executives stated flying the bigger mainline jets means it will likely be ready so as to add extra first-class and economy-plus seats, or coach seats with extra legroom. It additionally unveiled new interiors for the planes that embody seat-back screens and bigger overhead bins.
United stated it should provide bigger overhead bins on its new planes.
Supply: United Airways
That target higher-priced seats — and the shoppers who can pay extra for them — is a shot at rival Delta Air Lines. Earlier than the pandemic, Delta was closely targeted on these vacationers — significantly in coastal hubs — including extra legroom and roomier jets between enterprise hubs.
Enterprise journey demand was decimated within the pandemic however has not too long ago crept again, in accordance with analysts’ reviews.
United CEO Scott Kirby advised reporters that he expects business-travel demand to completely recuperate.
One other shift in United’s technique is that it’ll outfit its planes with seat-back leisure, one thing United had moved away from. Rival American Airlines — the place United’s CEO Kirby labored earlier than becoming a member of his present service 5 years in the past as president — had taken seat-back screens out of older planes whereas additionally taking in new narrow-body planes with out them.
Executives had argued that many vacationers would use their private digital units as a substitute to stream motion pictures.
United plans to outfit new jetliners with seat-back screens.
Supply: United Airways
Different airways like Delta and JetBlue Airways nonetheless provide seat-back leisure programs.