The Chicago-based American air carrier United Airlines considers expanding its aircraft fleet to dozens of new planes. The airline reportedly stepped into negotiations with Boeing and Airbus over a new potential purchase deal.
United Airlines is preparing to boost its fleet by up to 150 brand new Boeing 737 MAX 10s as well as an unspecified quantity of Airbus A321ne, according to Bloomberg.
The rumors regarding a new United Airlines aim to make a huge new order of the Boeing 737 MAXs came months after the airlines’ decision to replace its aging fleet and prepare for expected post-pandemic growth in the air travel demand. As a number of United Airlines jets have been already nearing the end of their lifecycle, in March 2021, the airline increased its firm commitment for the 737 MAXs from 163 to 188 jets.
At the time, it ordered 25 new Boeing 737 MAXs expecting to receive them all in 2023. Of the older order, 26 planes should arrive by the end of 2021, 40 aircraft in 2022, and the remaining 127 jets in 2023 and later.
The new purchases would expand the airlines’ order book from the current 188 MAXs to up to 338 planes.
United Airlines currently operates a fleet of 837 jets, an average age of 16.3 years. Of all the MAX variants, the air carrier currently flies only the MAX 9, as it has 30 aircraft of the type. It also flies older Boeing 737 Family jets, such as the 737-700s, -800s, -900s, and 900ER, as well as Boeing 757s, the 767s, the 787 Dreamliners, and the 777s.
Meanwhile, the Airbus Family takes a minor part of the United Airlines fleet, since it operates 95 Airbus A319s and 96 A320 aircraft.