United Airlines has ordered an additional 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets, the largest single airplane order for a U.S. airline since American Airlines ordered 200 MAX planes in July 2011.
This new order includes 150 737 MAX 10s and 50 737 MAX 8s. The news is a huge boost for the plane manufacturer’s efforts to revive the MAX program, which suffered hundreds of order cancellations over the past couple of years after two crashes that killed 346 people.
The largest MAX model, the MAX 10, took off on its first flight just 11 days ago. However, it won’t be delivered to airlines until 2023 as the company takes that time to develop and certify additional safety enhancements to the MAX demanded by the European aviation regulator.
The purchase increases United’s order book to 380 airplanes, including 30 that have already been delivered. It also includes the purchase of 737 MAX training simulator data packages to support the airline’s pilot training programs.
Apart from the 737 MAX, the airline has also placed an order for 70 Airbus A321neos.
The airline is now planning to take over 500 new aircraft in the coming years. 40 are expected next year, 138 in 2023 and 350 in 2024 and beyond. In 2023, the airline should be taking delivery of a new aircraft every three days.
The new deliveries will, in part, replace some of the airline’s older narrow-body aircraft. The airline has frequently positioned itself as an environmentally conscious airline, and this new order will further its eco-friendly position. According to the airline, replacing its older jets will generate a fuel efficiency increase of 11%.
Additionally, because it is moving to slightly bigger aircraft, carbon emissions per passenger will also fall. This drop is expected to be around 17-20% compared to the airline’s older narrow-body aircraft.