We know United Airlines is going to order a widebody plane today, and now we have all the details. This announcement is a little more than we expected.
United also orders Boeing 787 Dreamliners
United has just announced an order for 200 Boeing 787s, including 100 firm orders and 100 options. This is the largest wide-body aircraft order by a US airline in commercial airline history. United is expected to take delivery of these planes between 2024 and 2032. Also, United has flexibility in which mix of Boeing 787 types it takes, so these could include the -8, -9 and/or -10.
100 of these Boeing 787s will be used to replace older aircraft in United’s fleet, including Boeing 767s and Boeing 777s. United will phase out the 767 from its fleet by 2030, resulting in a 25% reduction in carbon emissions per seat.
United was trying to decide between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350, and clearly Boeing won. United already has an all-Boeing widebody fleet. Aircraft 767-300ERs, 767-400ERs, 777-200ERs, 777-300ERs, 787-8s, 787-9s and 787-10s. 767s are an average of 24 years old, 777s are an average of 18 years old, and 787s are an average of five years old, so it’s understandable how those 767s and 777s will eventually be replaced.
United currently has about 66 Boeing 787s in its fleet, and before this new order, only had roughly a handful left on its order book.
United orders more Boeing 737 MAXs
In addition to the Boeing 787 order, United also ordered 100 Boeing 737 Maxes. The airline has exercised 44 options from a previous order for Boeing 737 Max aircraft, and has placed a new order for 56 additional Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Of those, 44 aircraft will join United’s fleet between 2024 and 2026, while 56 aircraft will join United’s fleet between 2027 and 2028.
United already has the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 in its fleet. The airline has Boeing 737 Max 10s on order, but the aircraft are still awaiting certification.
If you combine all of United’s outstanding aircraft orders, the airline plans to take delivery of about 700 new planes by the end of 2032, an average of more than two flights each week in 2023 and more than three each week in 2024.
United is updating all of its narrow-body interiors with personal televisions and other great features, and expects the entire narrow-body fleet to have these interiors by the end of 2025.
United Airlines has placed a huge order with Boeing. This includes 200 Boeing 787s (100 firm orders and 100 options), and up to 100 Boeing 737 MAXs (44 previous options, 56 as part of a new order). I don’t think there is anything surprising here. United were nearing the end of their extensive body order book, so we knew something had to be ordered.
What do you think of United’s order with Boeing?