United Airlines has just firmed up orders for 110 new aircraft, including both Boeing wide body jets and Airbus narrow body jets. In reality the airline is just firming up orders that were previous options, so let’s go over the details. With this new order, United plans to take delivery of a total of around 800 new jets over the next decade, between 2023 and 2032.
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United orders 50 Boeing 787-9s
United Airlines has converted previous options and purchase rights into firm orders for 50 Boeing 787-9s for deliveries between 2028 and 2031. The company has also secured purchase rights for an additional 50 Boeing 787 aircraft.
In late 2022, United placed an order for up to 200 Boeing 787s, which was the largest wide body aircraft order by any US airline in history. This included 100 firm orders and 100 options. So 50 of those options are being exercised with this announcement, though United is also adding an additional 50 options with this announcement.
United currently has a fleet of around 70 Boeing 787s, including the -8, -9, and -10 variant. Prior to the order in late 2022, United was more or less at the end of its 787 deliveries. With the order in late 2022 plus this order, United now has firm orders for roughly 150 additional aircraft.
The plan is for these Boeing 787s to mostly replace both 767s and 777s. All 767s will be retired as of 2030. While United isn’t close to retiring its entire 777 fleet, some of these jets are now a couple of decades old, so do need to eventually be refreshed.
United orders 60 Airbus A321neos
United Airlines has converted previous options and purchase rights into firm orders for 60 Airbus A321neos for deliveries between 2028 and 2030. The company has also secured purchase rights for an additional 60 Airbus A321neo aircraft.
With this latest order, United now has a total of 130 Airbus A321neos on order, and the first jet is expected to join United’s fleet in the near future. Along with the Boeing 737 MAX, these planes will become the future of United’s narrow body fleet. United has also ordered 50 Airbus A321XLRs, which is the longest range version of the A321.
United is betting a lot more on Boeing than Airbus narrow body jets, as the airline already has roughly 130 737 MAXs in its fleet, with orders for over 400 more. All of these planes will eventually replace previous generation Airbus A320-family and Boeing 737 aircraft.
United Airlines has placed firm orders for 110 additional jets, including 50 Boeing 787-9s and 60 Airbus A321neos. United is exercising previous options, and you can expect most of these planes to be delivered in the late 2020s.
The wide body aircraft order in particular seems necessary, given United’s impressive long haul network. Up until less than a year ago, United barely had any more wide body aircraft on order, despite having an aging fleet. Suffice it to say that a firm order for 150 Boeing 787s in less than a year does the trick.
What do you make of United’s latest Airbus and Boeing aircraft order?