On Tuesday, United Airlines announced the purchase of 270 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus – 200 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 10 aircraft and 70 A321neo aircraft. The MAX 10 and A321 are expected to arrive in 2023, but the MAX 8 planes will start flying this summer. The order will be the largest in United’s history and will also be the largest order of any airline within the past decade. This record-breaking investment is part of United Airlines’ post-pandemic plan to ‘step up’ their company’s performance and business model for the next few years.
Along with the massive order, United’s CEO Scott Kirby also revealed the airline’s new interior design for their planes. The reworked classes will feature in-flight entertainment (IFE) screens and power outlets for every seat, more spacious overhead bins, the airline industry’s fastest available WIFI, comfortable LED lighting, and most impressively, Bluetooth connectivity on all screens. United Airlines is the first US airline to offer this feature and the second airline in the world to support Bluetooth technology, behind Qatar airways. These new additions will be a step forward in promoting the future of wireless technology. United’s innovative cabins will be available as soon as this summer on United’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
Not only will the upgraded interiors eventually be on the 270 new aircraft that United plans to receive, but they will also be on United’s entire narrow-body fleet. According to United’s CEO, the airline will retrofit and match the cabins of 100% of narrow-body aircraft in its fleet with the new, more futuristic cabins. This means that almost all domestic flights operated by United, regardless of how short they are, will feature this cabin with in-flight entertainment screens and more comfort. With this, United claims that they will have more premium seats than any other North American airline for every domestic flight by 2026. United is pushing for a more comfortable and enjoyable flying experience for passengers.
United’s news will also benefit the overall economy, aside from the airline’s own business. As older planes in the United’s fleet are replaced and phased out by the more efficient 737 MAX and A321neo aircraft, United is expecting an “11% improvement in fuel efficiency and 17-20% lower carbon emissions per seat,” according to the airline’s CEO. If estimated correctly, these numbers would greatly help reduce United’s carbon footprint and promote sustainability in the environment. United’s plan to replace the interiors of its entire narrow-body fleet will also open up 25,000 jobs across the country at several different airports. The entire program for upgrading United’s fleet would supposedly provide 50 billion dollars annually to the United States’ GDP through 2026 when the program is expected to end.
Overall, United Airlines has been taking big strides for its company throughout these past months. With the shocking news of the proposed return of supersonic travel just last month and this current news, United seems to be aiming to soar above its competition. Looking forward, United’s order of 270 planes and plans for cabin improvement will bring great additional improvements to comfort for passengers travelling with the airline. Will you be more willing to travel with United with the news of these upgrades?
Cover Image: The Points Guy