United Airlines this week announced that it was buying 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliner wide-body jets with an option to buy another 100, the largest order by a U.S. carrier in commercial aviation history.
The order, which will be delivered between 2024 and 2032, gives United the flexibility to choose among 787-9, 9, or 10 models of aircraft, which will allow it to add capacity to a wide range of routes over the next decade.
The order also makes United’s total order book through 2032 700 new narrow and widebody aircraft, including an average of more than two every week in 2023 and more than three every week in 2024. That includes 100 new widebody aircraft that are expected to replace older Boeing 767 and Boeing 777. All 767 aircraft will be removed from the United fleet by 2030.
"United emerged from the pandemic as the world's leading global airline and the flag carrier of the United States," said United CEO Scott Kirby.
"This order further solidifies our lead and creates new opportunities for our customers, employees, and shareholders by accelerating our plan to connect more people to more places around the globe and deliver the best experience in the sky."
The news comes as United continues to ramp up operations post-COVID. In the last two years alone, the carrier has added 13 new international destinations and 40 new international routes. That includes new service to London-Heathrow, where the airline added five new daily flights, for a total of 23 daily flights planned for the summer of 2023.