United Airlines places its biggest plane order in bet on return of premium travel

Written by on June 30, 2021

United Airlines has placed its biggest aircraft order to date in a bet on travel returning post-pandemic.

The US airline confirmed it had ordered 270 Boeing and Airbus planes worth more than $30bn (£21.6bn) on Tuesday.

Its chief executive Scott Kirby said the purchases would “accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel”.

The deal will see older, smaller jets replaced – mostly with Boeing 737 Max planes – between 2022 and 2026.

The bigger planes will carry more passengers on domestic routes and enable the airline to sell more premium seats in first class or with extra legroom.

Like many other airlines, United Airlines struggled as demand for travel was constricted during coronavirus-related lockdowns.

At the height of the crisis, it announced that it would need to furlough up to 36,000 staff.

But Mr Kirby said Tuesday’s move “underscores the critical role United plays in fuelling the broader US economy”.

He added: “We expect the addition of these new aircraft will have a significant economic impact on the communities we serve in terms of job creation, traveller spending and the shipping of goods and services.”

Credit: BBC

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