United Airlines orders 100 new 787 Dreamliners – plus options to add 100 more. For context, this represents the largest widebody aircraft order by a U.S. carrier in commercial aviation history and if you’re a bit of an aviation geek, you’ll whisper, WOW, under your breath.
100 Dreamliners, Updated Interiors & Decrease in Carbon Emissions
This historic purchase is the next chapter in the ambitious United Next plan where United expects to take delivery of the new planes between 2024 and 2032 and can choose among the 787-8, 9 or 10 models.
United also exercised options to purchase 44 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for delivery between 2024-2026 and ordered 56 more MAX aircraft for delivery between 2027-2028.
The airline now expects to take delivery of about 700 new narrow and widebody aircraft by the end of 2032, including an average of 2+ every week in 2023 and 3+ every week in 2024.
Additionally, United continues its unprecedented effort to upgrade the interiors of its existing fleet. More than 90% of the carrier’s international widebodies now feature the United Polaris® business class seat, as well as United Premium Plus® seating – upgrades for the remaining aircraft, will be completed by the summer of 2023. United also will retrofit 100% of its mainline, narrow-body planes with its signature interior – about 100 aircraft are scheduled to be completed in 2023 with the remaining expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
Approximately 100 new widebody planes are expected to replace older Boeing 767 and Boeing 777 aircraft, with all 767 aircraft removed from the fleet by 2030. This results in up to c. 25% decrease in carbon emissions per seat for the new planes compared to the planes they are to replace.
Improved Maintenance & Fuel Efficiency to Improve Cost Base
The 787 Dreamliners offer greatly improved maintenance and fuel burn economics will further United’s efforts to improve its overall cost profile. At the same time, the 787 options allow United to continue to grow its global network.
The Flag Carrier of the United States
With hubs in the nation’s largest cities, United provides strategic gateways to international destinations across the Atlantic, Pacific and Latin America. This past summer United became the largest airline between the U.S. and the Atlantic region, consisting of Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.
Earlier this year, United kicked off the largest transatlantic expansion in its history with the launch of ten new flights – including to several places no other North American carrier serves like Amman, Jordan; Tenerife, Canary Islands; Ponta Delgada, Azores and Mallorca, Spain.
Next summer, United’s Atlantic expansion will continue with new service to 3 cities – Malaga, Spain, Stockholm, Sweden; and Dubai, UAE – as well as six more flights to some of the most popular destinations in Europe, including Rome, Paris, Barcelona, London, Berlin and our own Shannon.
In total, United will fly nonstop to 37 cities in Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East next summer, more than all other U.S. airlines combined.
Star Alliance Strategic Collaboration
United has forged alliances and strategic agreements with many of the world’s leading global airlines and travel companies to give customers even more options and help make world travel more accessible. The airline was a founding member of Star Alliance, giving customers reciprocal travel and loyalty program benefits on 26 global airlines and allowing easy connections almost anywhere in the world. United has close working relationships with its joint venture partners the Lufthansa Group, Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, and Air New Zealand and holds codeshare agreements with leading airlines like Virgin Australia and Emirates.
The 787 Customer Experience
Each United 787 features four onboard products: United Polaris business class, United Premium Plus, Economy Plus®, and economy, providing an elevated and consistent experience throughout the airline’s international widebody fleet. Consistently ranked by customers as the highest scoring aircraft in United’s fleet in terms of overall satisfaction, all 787 aircraft also include larger windows, LED lighting, a lower cabin altitude setting and higher humidity, so customers feel more hydrated and better rested upon arrival.
Each United Polaris business class seat offers all-aisle access, wool blend seat covers for breathability and a memory foam layer for extra comfort, as well as 16-inch high-definition touch screens and noise-reducing headphones that include free access to more than 1,000 movies, TV shows, audio playlists, podcasts, and games.
All United Premium Plus seats include a six-inch recline, 13-inch seat back screens, and an amenity kit with pillow and blanket at every seat. Economy Plus and economy customers have 10-inch screens at every seat.
The seatback experience throughout the entire 787 aircraft also includes United’s Inflight Entertainment System (IFE) with accessibility features for people with hearing or visual disabilities. And United plans to add Bluetooth connectivity throughout new 787 aircraft so customers have the option of using their own headphones.
Premium Onboard Amenities
United Polaris customers also receive custom Saks Fifth Avenue bedding that includes a duvet, day blanket, and pillow – items like mattress pads, slippers and United’s signature cooling gel pillows are available upon request. Plus, earlier this year United debuted new amenity kits from Away that include Sunday Riley skincare products.
United Polaris Lounge
Every United Polaris customer also has access to the United Polaris Lounge – with locations in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark/New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. – with amenities that include spa-like shower facilities, a full-service restaurant and curated buffet, as well as daybeds with soft lighting and white noise.
Better Fuel Efficiency & Lower Carbon Emissions
United has set an ambitious goal to be 100% green by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050, without relying on traditional carbon offsets. To get there, the airline is introducing more fuel-efficient aircraft into its fleet and investing in sustainable aviation fuel and other decarbonization technologies.
According to Boeing, the 787 Dreamliner contributes up to a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions per seat compared with the airplanes it replaces and the noise footprint of the 787 is more than 60% smaller than those of the airplanes it replaces. For more about United’s environmental impact, see crreport.united.com.