United Airways is planning a document enlargement of its plane fleet.


United Airlines announced Tuesday that it has ordered 270 single-aisle aircraft from Boeing and Airbus, the largest aircraft purchase in United history and the largest in the United States in a decade. The deal will drive an expansion of United’s fleet, both in terms of the number and size of aircraft.

“It’s about building an airline that can compete with anyone,” said Andrew Nocella, the airline’s chief commercial officer, in a call to reporters.

Boeing will supply 200 of the aircraft, all versions of the 737 Max, its premier commercial aircraft. Of these, 150 737 are max 10s and 50 smaller max 8s. Airbus is providing the remaining 70 aircraft in the A321neo series.

United took the first shipment of a Max 8 on Monday and expects to receive the first of the other two aircraft in 2023. The airline currently has just over 800 aircraft in its fleet.

United declined to say how much it paid for the planes, but such large orders are usually heavily discounted. The order is good news for Boeing, which is trying to recover from the Max’s nearly two-year worldwide ban after two fatal crashes. Since global regulators lifted their flight bans late last year, Boeing has rushed to deliver the planes and book new orders.

Together with the existing orders, United expects to add more than 500 aircraft to its fleet in the coming years, 40 of them in 2022 and 138 in 2023. The airline is also planning a huge retrofit project in which it will replace its existing single aisle – Airplanes to match the interiors of the new planes. Approximately 300 of the new aircraft will replace smaller jets, while 200 will be used to expand United’s fleet.

Airlines in the United States are experiencing a strong travel recovery this summer. On Sunday, the Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 2.2 million people at airport security checkpoints, most since the pandemic started 16 months ago. United also said Monday that it expects to make a pre-tax profit in July, the first since January 2020.

The airline played off the purchase as a transformation investment it calls “United Next”. By 2026, the expansion will increase the number of seats per United flight in North America by nearly 30 percent and the number of premium seats available per flight by 75 percent, the airline said. It will also enable United to replace older, more polluting aircraft and improve overall fuel efficiency by 11 percent, the airline said.

To support the new aircraft and the service they provide, United expects to create 25,000 jobs nationwide, including up to 5,000 in Newark and 4,000 in San Francisco.