United Airlines announced the purchase of 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft Tuesday, marking the biggest order by an airline in the last decade and the largest order in United’s history.
Analysts told the Associated Press the deal would be worth more than $30 billion before discounts, but United has not disclosed any purchase prices.
The order comes at a time when U.S. air travel continues to rebound. On Monday, 2.07 million passengers traveled through TSA checkpoints–230% higher than the same date in 2020 but 15.8% lower than the same date in 2019.
United also claimed the order will create 25,000 unionized jobs by 2026, but the Associated Press notes that executives did not explain how that number was calculated.
All aircraft in United’s order are narrow-body aircraft–industry terminology for planes with a single aisle traditionally used on domestic flights. (Wide-body aircraft, on the other hand, are traditionally used on longer, international flights, as they have multiple aisles and more seats per row.)
During an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said his airline’s smaller, narrow-body regional jets had created some of the “toughest customer experiences.”
As Boeing and Airbus deliver new aircraft over the next several years, United Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Nocella said roughly 200 older, narrow-body regional jets will be retired.
Nocella also emphasized that despite the turnover in its fleet, United will not be squeezing more seats into regular economy sections.