The aging fleet of United Airlines is finally getting new blood as the airline announced today that it has placed orders for 25 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. In addition United has future purchase rights for 50 of each aircraft.
And it was about time, since United has not ordered aircraft since more than ten years ago, in 1998!
United expects to take delivery of the aircraft between 2016 and 2019; at the same time it will retire its international Boeing 747s and 767s. The A350 has a range 11 percent greater than the current B747, and the B787 has a range 32 percent greater than the current B767.
These 50 new aircraft will reduce the average seat count by about 19 percent compared to the aircraft they will replace, and by about 10 percent when averaged over the entire international fleet.