United Airlines has ordered 100 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners with the option to purchase 100 more of the long-haul aircraft to continue its expansion on international routes.
The company described the deal as the “largest widebody aircraft order” by any US airline in commercial aviation history, with the 100 Dreamliners set to be delivered between 2024 and 2032.
The new aircraft will replace older Boeing 767s and 777s, which will leave United’s fleet by 2030 – a move which will cut carbon emissions by an estimated 25 per cent per seat.
United also exercised options to purchase 44 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for delivery between 2024 and 2026, as well as another 56 MAX aircraft, which it will receive between 2027 and 2028.
Scott Kirby, United’s CEO, said the aircraft orders would boost its plan to “connect more people to more places around the globe and deliver the best experience in the sky”.
United said that its 787 options would allow the airline to “continue to grow” its global network and maintain “industry-leading margins” among US carriers on its international routes.
Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, added: “With this investment in its future fleet, the 737 MAX and 787 will help United accelerate its fleet modernisation and global growth strategy.”
United will also continue to roll out its Polaris business class and Premium Plus seats, which now feature on 90 per cent of its international widebody aircraft. The rest of this fleet will be fitted with the new seats by summer 2023.
The airline’s main hubs for international travel are Newark Liberty, where it operates to 78 destinations outside the US, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental (56 destinations), Chicago O’Hare (45 destinations) and Washington Dulles (41 destinations).