This morning, United Airlines announced their new "United Next" initiative, which included the purchase of over 270 medium-haul aircraft. The airline plans to increase the total number of domestic seats for mainline routes by more than 30% while at the same time minimizing carbon emissions. This comes as part of United's goal to become 100% eco-friendly by the year 2050.
As part of this new initiative, United will acquire 50 737 MAX 8s, 150 737 MAX 10s, and 70 A321neos. The new interior design integrates a revolutionary business model, with seat-back entertainment in every seat, larger overhead bins, and the industry's fastest available in-flight WiFi. The interiors are also being fitted with LED lighting to promote a brighter cabin look and feel. The airline plans to receive its first orders in 2023, with approximately one aircraft being delivered every three days.
In addition to this, United Airlines plans to retrofit all of its mainline aircraft in order to meet the interior quality specifications put in place for their newly ordered aircraft. This project is set to be done in 2025.
"Our United Next vision will revolutionize the experience of flying United as we accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel," said United CEO Scott Kirby. "By adding and upgrading this many aircraft so quickly with our new signature interiors, we'll combine friendly, helpful service with the best experience in the sky, all across our premier global network. At the same time, this move underscores the critical role United plays in fueling the broader U.S. economy – we expect the addition of these new aircraft will have a significant economic impact on the communities we serve in terms of job creation, traveler spending and commerce."
This means that the airline will have to phase our older, smaller jets, however. United plans to replace their current single-class regional jets, such as the CRJ200 and ERJ145, with their newer 737 MAX and A321NEO aircraft. This will contribute to United's 2050 green goal even more, as the aircraft replacement initiative is projected to reduce carbon emissions per seat by 17-20 percent while improving fuel efficiency by 11 percent.
United has been proving exceedingly ambitious these past few weeks, with the airline recently placing an order for Boom's new Overture supersonic jet. The airline definitely has plans in-store and is proving to be a trailblazer in the American aviation industry.
What do you think about United's new initiative? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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