United Airlines Holdings Inc.
said Tuesday it is purchasing 270 new Boeing
aircraft to its fleet, in its biggest ever order and the largest by an individual carrier in the last decade, making a strong bet on a recovery in travel. The company said its ‘United Next’ plan will also see it retrofit 100% of the remaining mainline, narrow-body fleet to improve the customer experience, increase premium seats per North American departure by 75%, create bigger overhead bins, put seatback entertainment in every seat and install the industry’s fastest WiFi. The company expects to increase the number of available seats per domestic departure by almost 30%, significantly lower carbon emissions per seat and create 25,000 unionized jobs by 2026. Combined with its current order book, United will add more than 500 new narrow-body aircraft through 2024 and beyond. “That means in 2023 alone, United’s fleet will, on average, add about one new narrow-body aircraft every three days,” the company said in a statement. United is expecting to resume its full schedule of flights out of Newark by November when the FAA slot waiver ends, said the statement. United also offered financial guidance, saying it expects to achieve more than $2 billion structural cost savings by 2026, is planning to retire more than 200 single-cabin regional jets by that date, and is expecting adjusted capex of $4.5 billion in 2021, $4.2 billion in 2022 and $8.5 billion in 2023. Shares were down 0.6% premarket, but have gained 26% in the year to date, while the U.S. Global JETS ETF
has gained 9% and the S&P 500
has gained 14%.