United Airlines announced the purchase of 200 Boeing 737 Max and 70 Airbus A321neo on Tuesday under its “United Next” program. The airlines also said that it will be carrying out a retrofit of 100% of its existing narrow-body fleet. This is the largest combined order in its history and is also the largest by an individual carrier in the last decade. The purchase includes 50 737 MAX 8s, 150 737 MAX 10s and 70 A321neos. The new aircrafts are likely to replace the existing smaller jets, thus increasing United’s passenger capacity. The airline said that “The ‘United Next’ plan will have a transformational effect on the customer experience and is expected to increase the total number of available seats per domestic departure by almost 30%, significantly lower carbon emissions per seat and create tens of thousands of quality, unionized jobs by 2026”. The new order has expanded United’s order books to 500 new narrow-body aircraft – 40 in 2022, 138 in 2023 and 350 thereafter. Based on a joint study by United and the Federal Aviation Administration, the addition of these new aircrafts could lead to increased traveler spending of ~$30bn contributing ~$50bn annually towards the US economy by 2026. The pandemic struck airlines also said on Monday that it expects July to be its first profitable month on a pre-tax basis since the pandemic engulfed the world.
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