United Orders 110 New Aircraft to Be Delivered from 2028

United Airlines has announced the purchase of 110 additional aircraft set to be delivered starting in 2028.



October 3, 2023

DALLAS — United Airlines (UA) has announced the purchase of 110 additional aircraft set to be delivered starting in 2028. This order is part of United's long-term fleet expansion plan called United Next. The airline will be adding flexibility to its fleet by ordering 50 Boeing 787-9s and 60 Airbus A321neos.

The airline has also secured options for an additional 50 Boeing 787s and purchase rights for 40 more A321neo aircraft. The company expects to take delivery of approximately 800 new narrowbody and widebody aircraft between 2023 and the end of 2032.

According to today's press release, the strategy UA will implement includes flying larger aircraft with more available seats on existing routes, a concept known as "upgauging." By increasing gauge, the carrier aims to enhance connectivity domestically and internationally.

In 2019, UA had an average of 104 seats per departure in North America, which was among the lowest in the industry. However, by 2027, the airline expects this number to increase by more than 40% to over 145 seats. This will be achieved through the delivery of 180 A321neo and over 370 737 MAX aircraft by 2030.

United Airlines N27519 Boeing 737-9 MAX. Photo: Mateo Skinner/Airways

Fleet Flexibility

United currently operates in some of the largest markets in the United States, including Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark/NYC, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. By upgauging, UA says it can improve overall connectivity both domestically and internationally.

The new aircraft order provides UA with fleet flexibility, as they can be used for both growth and replacement, depending on market demand and economic conditions. Additionally, the airline hopes that the 50 additional Boeing 787-9s will simplify UA's international fleet and result in cost savings.

United Airlines is already the largest carrier across the Atlantic and Pacific. With this latest order, the carrier now has the largest number of Boeing 787s on firm order, totaling 150 aircraft. It expects that 75% of its fleet will be new-generation by 2030.

Featured image: United Airlines N29985 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Julian Schopfer/Airways