United Airlines today announced the next step in its commitment to making more customers more comfortable by adding more than 1,600 United Polaris® business class and United First seats to nearly 250 international and domestic aircraft. Additionally, United will revolutionize the regional flying experience by introducing the two-cabin, 50-seat Bombardier CRJ550 aircraft to its fleet, offering customers on key regional routes more legroom, storage and amenities than any other 50-seat regional aircraft operating today.
“In an era where many airlines are adding seats to their aircraft to crowd more passengers onto the plane, we’re re-configuring more than 100 of our aircraft and doing exactly the opposite – for the benefit of our customers,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “From adding more premium seats on aircraft that serve some of our most traveled routes, introducing a revolutionary, best-in-class 50-seat experience or simply offering free DIRECTV on more than 200 aircraft, we are committed to making United the airline that our customers choose to fly.”
More United Polaris business seats on Boeing 767-300ER aircraft
In the next several weeks, United will introduce to its fleet the first of 21 reconfigured Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring 16 additional United Polaris business seats in the premium cabin – a more than 50 percent increase in all-aisle-access seating – bringing the total premium cabin seat count to 46. The newly reconfigured aircraft will also feature 22 United®Premium Plus seats (becoming the first 767-300ER to offer this seat type); 47 Economy Plus® seats and 52 Economy seats. United will first operate the reconfigured 767 – which will feature the highest proportion of premium seats on any widebody operated by any U.S. carrier – between Newark/New York and London, offering 50 percent more premium seats in the largest premium route in the world. The airline expects to introduce all the reconfigured aircraft to its fleet by the end of next year.
More United First seats on Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft
United is also adding more United First® seats to its fleet of Airbus aircraft, offering customers greater opportunities to upgrade and enjoy a premium flying experience. Beginning this fall, the carrier will add four United First seats on its fleet of Airbus A319s, increasing the total count from eight to 12. The reconfigured aircraft will also feature 36 Economy Plus and 78 Economy seats.
Beginning early next year, United will add four United First seats on its fleet of nearly 100 Airbus A320 aircraft, increasing the total count from 12 to 16. The reconfigured aircraft will also feature 39 Economy Plus seats and 95 Economy seats. United expects to complete the reconfiguration of the Airbus A320 and A319s by the middle of next year.
Introducing the first-of-its-kind Bombardier CRJ550
By the end of this year, United will revolutionize the regional flying experience with the planned introduction of 50 spacious, 50-seat Bombardier CRJ550 aircraft to its regional fleet, subject to government certification. In addition to becoming the only 50-seat aircraft in the world to offer true first-class seating, the innovative new aircraft will provide customers with a truly exceptional flying experience, including a state-of-the-art interior featuring LED lighting, a self-serve beverage and snack station for customers seated in the premium cabin, Wi-Fi and more overall legroom per seat than any other 50-seat aircraft flown by any U.S. carrier. Additionally, the CRJ550 will feature four storage closets, providing customers ample room to store their carryon bags and making the CRJ550 the only regional jet in the skies where customers will not need to routinely gate check their bags.
The two-cabin CRJ550 will feature 10 United First seats; 20 Economy Plus seats and 20 Economy seats. The CRJ550 aircraft will eventually replace existing single-cabin 50-seat aircraft and will bring a higher percentage of two-cabin departures to smaller cities across the carrier’s network. Additionally, the innovative aircraft will enable United to offer premium seats on more connecting flights from smaller cities to the airline’s overall global network, further strengthening its competitive position and emphasizing its role as an industry innovator.
United expects that its regional partner GoJet will begin operating the CRJ550 in the second half of this year – subject to agreement on final terms and conditions – on select routes from Chicago, O’Hare followed by Newark, offering customers connecting through the hub the opportunity to enjoy a premium cabin experience at every step of their journey.
Every customer. Every flight. Every day.
In 2019, United is focusing more than ever on its commitment to its customers, looking at every aspect of its business to ensure that the carrier keeps customers’ best interests at the heart of its service. In addition to today’s announcement, United recently released a re-imagined version of the most downloaded app in the airline industry and made DIRECTV free for every passenger on 211 aircraft, offering more than 100 channels on seat back monitors on more than 30,000 seats. The multimillion-dollar investment in improving inflight entertainment options will benefit the more than 29 million people expected to fly United’s DIRECTV-enabled planes this year.
In related news GoJet issued this statement:
GoJet is pleased to announce that United Airlines has selected it to fly Bombardier’s new model aircraft, the CRJ550. GoJet and United Airlines have executed a letter of agreement for a deal to operate these aircraft for 10 years, subject to agreement on final terms and conditions. The CRJ550 is a new aircraft type within Bombardier’s successful CRJ family of equipment and will revolutionize the customer experience in the 50-seat regional marketplace, while also offering many enhancements not available on larger regional jets flying in the marketplace today.
The new aircraft will feature more First Class seats (10) and Economy Plus seats (20) than many regional jets flying today. Additionally, there are new amenities that are currently unavailable on many of the regional jets in the marketplace, including a convenient beverage and snack station in the First Class cabin and a generous increase in on-board bag storage space eliminating the need for planeside or valet checked bags. The features available on the CRJ550 that are not available on any 50-seat aircraft include a larger cabin which will provide more overall legroom than any 50-seat jet in the United States and Wi-Fi on all aircraft.
GoJet’s selection as the launch provider of this important premium aircraft underscores United’s confidence in GoJet as a top regional performer. “Being the world’s leading airline is more than just connecting our customers to hundreds of points around the globe. It’s about providing them with an unparalleled experience and product, a safe and well-maintained aircraft, and a reliable operation,” said Tracy Lee – SVP United Express. “GoJet has a proven track record as a top-performing regional partner, and it’s because of their efforts that we are confident in their future operating this unrivaled new regional product – the CRJ550.”
“We are proud to be the provider chosen to fly this newly launched premium product for United Airlines,” said Richard Leach, President and CEO of GoJet Airlines. “Being part of a new product launch is very exciting for us and solidifies our importance as a strategic service provider in the regional airline marketplace, while providing long-term stability and growth for our company and our employees.”
The new ten-year agreement between GoJet and United will go into effect with the introduction of the first CRJ550, with planned entry into service by the summer of 2019. The current target is to have 25 in service by year end and all 50 aircraft in service by summer of 2020.
GoJet Airlines currently operates the Bombardier CRJ700 as a United Express carrier.