Tag Archives: United Airlines

United reports a 2Q net loss of $0.4 billion, expects to be profitable in the 3Q and 4Q

United Airlines (UAL) today announced second-quarter 2021 financial results. The company now expects positive adjusted pre-tax income¹ in the third and fourth quarters of 2021 as travel demand rebounds.

The company’s second quarter performance largely exceeded original expectations as international long haul and business travel accelerated even faster than anticipated, together with continued yield improvement. Looking ahead, the company expects continued gains as more businesses return by end of summer and into 2022, with a full recovery in demand anticipated by 2023.

“Thanks to the professionalism and perseverance of the United employees who have worked so hard to take care of our customers through the pandemic, our airline has reached a meaningful turning point: we’re expecting to be back to making a profit once again,” said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. “As we emerge from the most disruptive crisis our company has faced, we’re now focused squarely on our United Next strategy that will transform our customers’ onboard experience and help fulfill United’s incredible potential.”

*For purposes of this release, profitability refers to positive adjusted pre-tax income, which is a non-GAAP financial measure calculated as pre-tax income excluding special charges (credits), unrealized gains and losses on investments, net. We are not providing a target for or a reconciliation to pre-tax income, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, because we are unable to predict certain items contained in the GAAP measure without unreasonable efforts.

Second Quarter Financial Results

  • Reported second quarter 2021 capacity down 46% compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 net loss of $0.4 billion, adjusted net loss3 of $1.3 billion.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 total operating revenue of $5.5 billion, down 52% compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 Total Revenue per Available Seat Mile (TRASM) of down 11.3% compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 operating expenses down 42%, down 32% excluding special charges (credits)4, compared to second quarter 2019.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 pre-tax margin of negative 10.3%, negative 29.2% on an adjusted5 basis.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) margin6 of negative 10.7%.
  • Raised secured financing collateralized by substantially all of United’s network of slots, routes, and gates — made up of $4 billion in a private offering of bonds, a $5 billion term loan, and a $1.75 billion revolving credit facility. This is a first of its kind financing and the largest non-merger financing transaction in airline history.
  • Reported second quarter 2021 ending available liquidity7 of approximately $23 billion.

Outlook

  • Expects third quarter 2021 capacity to be down around 26% compared to third quarter 2019, up 39% quarter over quarter.
  • Based on current trends, the company expects third quarter 2021 TRASM growth to be positive compared to the third quarter 2019, the first quarter of positive TRASM growth since the second quarter of 2020.
  • Expects third quarter 2021 cost per available seat mile, excluding fuel, profit sharing, third-party business expenses, and special charges (CASM-ex)2 to be up approximately 17% compared to third quarter 2019 (includes a 6-point headwind largely driven by lower stage length and lower gauge of our network, including the temporary grounding of 52 Boeing Pratt & Whitney powered 777 widebody aircraft).
  • Third quarter 2021 estimated fuel price of approximately $2.17 per gallon.
  • Expects third quarter 2021 adjusted pre-tax income1 to be positive, the first quarter of positive adjusted pre-tax income since fourth quarter 2019. Additionally, expects fourth quarter 2021 adjusted pre-tax income1 to be positive.
  • Expects 2022 cost per available seat mile, excluding fuel, profit sharing, third-party business expenses, and special charges (CASM-ex)2 to be lower than 2019.

Key Highlights

  • Announced the purchase of 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft – the largest combined order in the airline’s history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade.
  • As part of “United Next” announced plans to retrofit 100% of the mainline, narrow-body fleet to transform the customer experience and create a new signature interior with a roughly 75% increase in premium seats per departure, larger overhead bins, seatback entertainment in every seat and the industry’s fastest available WiFi.
  • Established a new diversity goal by striving to have 50% of students at the new United Aviate Academy be women and people of color.
  • Launched the first-of-its-kind Eco-Skies Alliance℠ program through which corporate customers contributed to the purchase of approximately 3.4 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in 2021.
  • Entered into a commercial agreement with Denver-based aerospace company Boom Supersonic to add aircraft to United’s global fleet as well as a cooperative sustainability initiative — a move that facilitates a leap forward in returning supersonic speeds to aviation.
  • Provided customers the ability to schedule COVID-19 tests and have results reviewed in advance through United’s industry-leading Travel-Ready Center.
  • Teamed up with more than a dozen new environmental, nonprofit partners to strengthen the company’s sustainability commitment to become 100% green by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 100% by 2050.
  • Launched a new, corporate venture fund – United Airlines Ventures – which will allow the airline to continue investing in emerging companies that have the potential to influence the future of travel.
  • Offered loyalty program members the chance to win free flights for a year’s worth of travel through “Your Shot to Fly” sweepstakes to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations in support of the Biden administration’s national effort to encourage people to get vaccinated.
  • Announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration to use Abbott’s BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Home Test and Abbott’s NAVICA app to help make the international travel experience more seamless.

Taking Care of Our Customers

  • Introduced three new promotions that let eligible MileagePlus® Premier® members “Pick Your Path” depending on their upcoming travel plan giving members the chance to fast track their Premier status or earn bonus miles.
  • Expanded beer, wine, and snacks to nearly all flights over two hours including new options like White Claw® Hard Seltzer, Breckenridge Brewery Juice Drop Hazy IPA, and Kona Brewing Co. Big Wave Golden Ale.

Reimagining the Route Network

  • Announced seven new domestic routes and three new international routes and launched 39 domestic routes and five international routes, with 10 more international routes planned to launch in 2021.
  • New route announcements included Dubrovnik, Croatia to Newark/New YorkAthens, Greece to Washington, D.C.; and Reykjavik, Iceland to Chicago.
  • New route launches included two new long-haul international routes from Accra, Ghana to Washington, DC, and Johannesburg, South Africa to Newark/New York, and three new routes to Hawaii including Maui/Kahului to Newark/New YorkHonolulu to Orange County, and Kona to Chicago.
  • Resumed nonstop service on 33 domestic routes and 14 international routes compared to the first quarter of 2021.
  • Compared to March 2021, United had nonstop service in 55 more domestic and 24 more international routes in June 2021.
  • Announced plans to fly roughly 80% of its full schedule in July 2021 compared to July 2019.

Assisting the Communities We Serve

  • Announced a program with the Golden State Warriors to launch the Franchise Fund, a program designed to support minority-owned Bay Area small businesses.
  • More than 5 million miles donated from United’s customers to charities in need of travel through United’s Miles on a Mission program.
  • Over 18,200 pounds of food and beverages ($66,400 value) donated to local food banks.
  • Over $326,000 raised for Airlink, World Central Kitchen, Americares, and Global Giving via CrowdRising to support COVID-19 relief efforts in India, including a $40,000 donation by United Airlines.

Additional Noteworthy Accomplishments

  • Celebrated the 40th anniversary of the MileagePlus program by giving away 4 million miles to essential healthcare workers.
  • Recently redesigned United mobile app was voted the Best Travel App in the 25th annual Webby Awards.
  • Joined forces with Chase and Visa to offer eligible United MileagePlus Visa cardmembers the ability to earn five total miles for every dollar donated to select charities supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Became the first corporation in at least five years to be presented with the “Volunteer Group of the Year” award from Food Bank of the Rockies. Also, helped Food Bank of the Rockies raise the equivalent of 30,400 meals via a fundraiser.
  • In the second quarter of 2021, through a combination of cargo-only flights and passenger flights, United has transported nearly 298 million pounds of freight, which includes nearly 48 million pounds of vital shipments, such as medical kits, PPE, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment, and more than 765,000 pounds of military mail and packages.
  • In the second quarter of 2021, there was an uptick in COVID-19 vaccine shipments, where United shipped 225,000 pounds of vaccines.

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1. Adjusted pre-tax income is a non-GAAP financial measure calculated as pre-tax income excluding special charges (credits), unrealized (gains) losses on investments, net. We are not providing a target for or a reconciliation to pre-tax income, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, because we are unable to predict certain items contained in the GAAP measure without unreasonable efforts.

2. CASM-ex (adjusted operating expense per available seat mile) is a non-GAAP measure that excludes fuel, profit sharing, third-party business expense and special charges. We are not providing a target or reconciliation to CASM, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, because we are unable to predict certain items contained in the GAAP measure without unreasonable efforts.

3. Excludes special charges (credits), unrealized (gains) losses on investments, net, debt extinguishment and modification fees and special termination benefits. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

4. Excludes operating special charges (credits). Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release. Second quarter 2019 operating expenses were $9.859 billion, excluding $71 million of special charges. 

5. Adjusted to exclude special charges (credits), unrealized (gains) losses on investments, net, debt extinguishment and modification fees and special termination benefits. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

6. Adjusted EBITDA margin is a non-GAAP financial measure calculated as Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA), excluding special charges and unrealized (gains) losses on investments, divided by total operating revenue. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

7. Includes cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and undrawn credit facilities.

United to acquire 100 electric 19-seat ES-19 airliners from Heart Aerospace

United Airlines Ventures (UAV) has announced it, along with Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and Mesa Airlines, has invested in electric aircraft startup Heart Aerospace.

Heart Aerospace is developing the ES-19, a 19-seat electric aircraft that has the potential to fly customers up to 250 miles before the end of this decade. In addition to UAV’s investment, United Airlines has conditionally agreed to purchase 100 ES-19 aircraft, once the aircraft meet United’s safety, business and operating requirements.

 

 

Mesa Airlines, United’s key strategic partner in bringing electric aircraft into commercial service, has also agreed to add 100 ES-19 aircraft to its fleet, subject to similar requirements.

UAV is building a portfolio of companies that focus on innovative sustainability concepts and create the technologies and products necessary to build a carbon-neutral airline and reach United’s net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goals. With this new agreement, United is deepening its bold commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 100% by 2050 without relying on traditional carbon offsets, as well as enabling the growth of Heart Aerospace and participating in the development of aircraft that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from flying.

Mock-up of the cabin:

UAV and BEV are among the first investors in Heart Aerospace, demonstrating confidence in Heart’s design and creating potential for Heart to fast track the ES-19 introduction to market as early as 2026.

By utilizing electric motors instead of jet engines, and batteries instead of jet fuel, Heart’s ES-19 aircraft will have zero operational emissions. Seating 19 passengers, the ES-19 aircraft will also be larger than any of its all-electric competitors and will be designed to operate on the same types of batteries used in electric cars.  Once operational, the ES-19 could operate on more than 100 of United’s regional routes out of most of its hubs. Some of these routes include Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Purdue University Airport (LAF) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Modesto City-County Airport (MOD).

Once operational, Heart’s ES-19 could give customers access to the convenience of flight without contributing to carbon emissions that cause climate change.

 

United adds nearly 150 flights to warm-weather cities this winter

United Airlines made this announcement:

As demand for travel continues to build, United Airlines is expecting the resurgence to continue for winter holiday travel and is planning ahead by increasing service to cities in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. The airline will add nearly 150 flights to warm-weather destinations across the U.S and is increasing service to Latin beach and leisure markets by 30% compared to 2019. The airline will fly 137 more flights than it did in 2019 to places like FloridaCaliforniaArizonaGeorgia and Nevada starting this November through next March.

United has prepared for the return of air travel for more than a year, matching its flying schedule and aircraft availability to demand by maintaining close coordination between its network planning teams and the airline’s operating groups. During this fourth of July travel period, United carried five times as many customers as it did over the same period in 2020 and in anticipation of that trend continuing throughout 2021, the airline is expanding its winter schedule.

“Celebrating the holidays with family and loved ones in 2020 was a challenge, and we know our customers are already eager to plan winter vacations and gatherings in person this year to make up for time that they lost,” said Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning at United. “As pandemic restrictions ease, people are becoming more confident in planning travel further in advance, so we want to make sure to offer our customers as much choice as possible.”

Most of these additional flights will be operated with mainline aircraft featuring United FirstSM , Economy Plus® and standard Economy seat options and complimentary snacks and onboard Wi-Fi. The additional U.S. flights include:

  • Up to 25 additional daily flights from New York/Newark to cities including Ft. Myers, Jacksonville and Savannah
  • Up to 14 additional daily flights from Denver to cities including CharlestonFt. Lauderdale and Savannah
  • Up to 12 additional daily flights from Chicago to cities including Key WestLas Vegas and San Diego
  • Up to 11 additional daily flights from Washington D.C. to cities including CharlestonNew Orleans and Phoenix
  • Up to seven additional daily flights from Houston to Florida including MiamiOrlando and Palm Beach
  • Up to four additional daily flights from Los Angeles to OrlandoTampa and Ft. Myers
  • Up to four additional daily flights from Cleveland to OrlandoTampa and Ft. Myers
  • Up to three additional daily flights from San Francisco to Orlando and Ft. Myers

And as customers continue to reunite with family and friends in warm international destinations this winter, United is increasing service to the CaribbeanMexico and Central America by 30% compared to 2019. This added service includes launching 12 new routes from DenverLos AngelesNew York/NewarkSan Francisco and Washington, D.C. to destinations including Belize City, BelizeCozumel, MexicoLiberiaCosta Rica and Nassau, Bahamas.Image

United unveils campaign featuring Team USA Olympic and Paralympic athletes

United Airlines made this announcement:

Today, United, the official airline sponsor of Team USA, debuted its new advertising campaign featuring five of the world’s most accomplished and decorated Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Driven by the tagline “Time to Let Yourself Fly,” the campaign highlights Team USA’s return to the Games and honors the feeling many Americans have as they consider returning to travel. Customers traveling with United this summer will experience touches of the Team USA collaboration through signage displayed throughout United terminals and limited-edition amenity kits and pajamas available on select flights.

Selected for their shared values of ambition, excellence, diversity and unity on a global stage, Team United is comprised of the following athletes:

  • Simone Biles – Gymnast from Houston, Texas, and the world’s most decorated female gymnast in history
  • Kolohe Andino – Surfer from San Clemente, California, who holds the record for most championship titles in U.S. surfing history
  • Julie Ertz – Soccer Defender from Mesa, Arizona, and two-time World Cup champion
  • Jessica Long – Swimmer from Baltimore, Maryland, and 23-time Paralympic medalist
  • Oz Sanchez – Hand Cyclist from San Diego, California, and six-time Paralympic medalist

“The upcoming Olympic and Paralympic games mark the 40th year we’ve supported Team USA on their journey from practice to the podium,” said Janet Lamkin, senior vice president of market and community innovation at United. “Like the athletes we’ve flown over the years to compete on a global stage, United is an airline committed to doing the hard work to be the best and engage deeply in the communities we serve.”

For the last four decades, United has proudly sponsored Team USA Olympic and Paralympic athletes as part of its long-standing relationship with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. As the official airline sponsor of Team USA, United flies athletes along with their equipment and gear, and maintains reservations agents dedicated to Team USA’s travel needs.

Leading up to and throughout the Tokyo Games, United will also encourage fans to “let yourself fly” with United through airport and onboard marketing activations. Campaign visuals will be displayed on signage throughout United’s airports. Customers flying in premium cabins this summer will receive limited-edition Team USA-themed amenity kits and on select international flights, customers in United Polaris® business class will dream like an Olympian in Team USA-themed pajamas.

United orders 50 737 MAX 8s, 150 737 MAX 10s and 70 A321neos, largest order in airline’s history and biggest by a single carrier in a decade

First MAX 8, delivered on June 27, 2021

United Airlines today announced the purchase of 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft – the largest combined order in the airline’s history and the biggest by an individual carrier in the last decade. The ‘United Next’ plan will have a transformational effect on the customer experience and is expected to increase the total number of available seats per domestic departure by almost 30%, significantly lower carbon emissions per seat and create tens of thousands of quality, unionized jobs by 2026, all efforts that will have a positive, ripple effect across the broader U.S. economy.

When combined with the current order book, United expects to introduce more than 500 new, narrow-body aircraft: 40 in 2022, 138 in 2023 and as many as 350 in 2024 and beyond. That means in 2023 alone, United’s fleet will, on average, add about one new narrow-body aircraft every three days.

United’s new aircraft order – 50 737 MAX 8s, 150 737 MAX 10s and 70 A321neos – will come with a new signature interior that includes seat-back entertainment in every seat, larger overhead bins for every passenger’s carry-on bag and the industry’s fastest available in-flight WiFi, as well as a bright look-and-feel with LED lighting. The airline expects to fly the first 737 MAX 8 with the signature interior this summer and to begin flying the 737 MAX 10 and the Airbus A321neo in early 2023.

What’s more, United intends to upgrade 100% of its mainline, narrow-body fleet to these standards by 2025, an extraordinary retrofit project that, when combined with the number of new aircraft joining the fleet, means United will deliver its state-of-the-art inflight experience to tens of millions of customers at an unprecedented pace.

This order will also significantly boost United’s total number of mainline daily departures and available seats across the airline’s North American network, as well as the number of premium seats, both United FirstSM and Economy Plus®. Specifically, United expects it will have on average 53 premium seats per North American departure by 2026, an increase of about 75% over 2019, and more than any competitor in North America.

Plus, adding these new 737 MAX and Airbus A321neo aircraft means United will replace older, smaller mainline jets and at least 200 single-class regional jets with larger aircraft, which the airline expects will lead to significant sustainability benefits compared to older planes: an expected 11% overall improvement in fuel efficiency and an expected 17-20% lower carbon emission per seat compared to older planes.

United’s new aircraft reflect a vastly improved customer experience standard – United’s signature interior – that places a premium on the overall comfort of flying – more overall available seats in the market, more premium seats on each aircraft, as well as better entertainment, overhead storage and technology features. These standards will be applied to the airline’s retrofit plan – a nose-to-tail transformation of its mainline, narrow-body fleet – that is expected to be 66% complete by 2023 and 99% complete by the summer of 2025.

United’s new narrow-body jets will help the airline increase its total seats per departure for North American flights by 30 seats, or almost 30%, by 2026. At the same time, the airline will quickly grow the number of United FirstSM and Economy Plus® seats for customers seeking an elevated experience.

United’s 737 MAX 8 has 16 United FirstSM seats and 54 Economy Plus® seats – more than double the number of extra leg room seats offered by competing airlines on similar-sized aircraft. The 737 MAX 10 – the largest member of the MAX family – makes up the majority of United’s new order and will include 20 United FirstSM seats and 64 Economy Plus® seats and the new A321neo aircraft are expected to have a United FirstSM and Economy Plus® seat count similar to that of the 737 MAX 10.

Impact in Newark/NYC

United expects to resume its full schedule of flights out of Newark by November 2021 when the FAA slot waiver period ends. The airline is already the leading carrier from Newark – United’s largest global gateway – with 430 daily flights that include international destinations like JohannesburgTel AvivMumbai and Hong Kong.

United expects the number of Newark departures on mainline aircraft to increase from 55% in 2019 to 70% by 2026. And by late 2021, United expects 100% of Newark departures to be on dual-class aircraft, including the 737 MAX and the airline’s new, dual-class 50-seat CRJ-550 jet. Today’s aircraft order means the airline can create quality, union jobs, as well as grow domestic and international capacity from Newark for years to come by replacing smaller mainline jets with larger aircraft, while at the same time driving international growth, by connecting more customers from U.S. cities to Newark/NYC for their international flights.

United is in the midst of a significant facility expansion and upgrade project at Newark. The work includes renovating an existing United Club SM location in Terminal C, building a completely new lounge in Terminal C that is capable of accommodating 500 travelers and will have panoramic views of Manhattan, as well as building a brand new United Club in Terminal A where United will operate from 12 new gates.

United’s new aircraft order is expected to create about 25,000 well-paying, unionized jobs by 2026, including the following at each of the airline’s seven, major U.S. hubs:

  • Newark / EWR:                   up to 5,000 jobs
  • San Francisco / SFO:         up to 4,000 jobs
  • Washington, D.C. / IAD:     up to 3,000 jobs
  • Chicago / ORD:                  up to 3,000 jobs
  • Houston / IAH:                    up to 3,000 jobs
  • Denver / DEN:                    up to 3,000 jobs
  • Los Angeles / LAX:             up to 1,400 jobs

United has contracts in place with the following unions and these descriptions provide an overview of each frontline group as well as salary details for each position:

  • Contact Center, Ramp and Customer Service Agents (represented by IAM): United employed about 28,000 agents in 2019 – 14,000 who help load each aircraft, 12,000 customer service representatives in airports and 3,000 contact center agents (including about 900 based at the airline’s Houston Reservation Center and 700 at United’s Chicago facility) who help customers find the best option for their travel. Most of these jobs include entry-level opportunities for people directly out of high school and college, and their combined wages and benefits in 2019 totaled more than $90,000 at the top of their pay scale. Several of United’s top leaders started out working on the ramp or in customer service, including United’s current Senior Vice President of Airport Operations who started on the ramp, the airline’s Vice President of San Francisco, who started as a customer service agent and United’s current Managing Director of Customer Care, who started as a lead travel consultant.
  • Dispatchers (represented by PAFCA): United has 400 dispatchers and in 2019 their combined wages and benefits totaled more than $200,000 at the top of their pay scale. These positions are certified by the FAA and share joint responsibility with the captain for the safe operation of every United flight. The airline has many dispatchers working in United’s Network Operations Center who came from positions across the company including agents and management positions.
  • Flight Attendants (represented by AFA): United had about 24,000 active flight attendants in 2019 and their combined wages and benefits totaled more than $90,000 at the top of their pay scale. With the unique ability to see the world while working, it’s no surprise that flight attendant jobs are highly desired. In 2019, United had over 65,000 applicants for fewer than 1,500 flight attendant positions. New hires go through a six-week training course at United’s Houston Training Center and visit one of the airline’s seven training facilities every year to keep their skills fresh. Additionally, those interested in becoming a flight attendant do not require special schooling or a college degree and are fully trained once hired. United’s current Senior Vice President of Inflight Services started as a flight attendant.
  • Pilots (represented by ALPA): United has about 12,000 pilots – Captains of United’s Boeing 787s and 777s can earn more than $350,000. In addition, United pilots receive one of the highest 401(k) matches in the nation – 16% of base pay. United leads the industry as the only major airline to own its own flight school – the United Aviate Academy – and recently embarked on a plan to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with the goal of at least half of them being women and people of color. The company had previously announced that it anticipates hiring more than 10,000 pilots by 2029. All United pilots complete intensive simulator training with our pilot instructors and evaluators every nine months at United’s Flight Training Center in Denver. United’s current Senior Vice President of Flight Operations started as a First Officer, served as a U.S. Naval Aviator and retired as a Navy Captain from the U.S. Navy Reserve.
  • Technicians (represented by IBT): United had more than 9,000 technicians in 2019 and their combined wages and benefits totaled more than $140,000 at the top of their pay scale. This frontline team includes aircraft mechanics, facilities technicians and ground equipment technicians. These are highly skilled jobs – the airline actively recruits from the military – and United provides an onramp to this career through entry-level positions. Several United airlines leaders started out as aircraft mechanics, including the airline’s current Vice President for Technical Operations.

Overall Economic Impact

In addition to creating jobs, the addition of these new aircraft to United’s fleet is expected to drive more than $30 billion in traveler spending when flying United and contribute an estimated $50 billion annually towards the U.S. economy by 2026, based on a study from the Federal Aviation Administration and United’s internal estimates:

  • Jobs & Wages: In 2020, United paid more than $10 billion in wages and this new aircraft order has the potential to create an additional 25,000 United jobs by 2026, with billions of dollars more in potential additional wages expected. United estimates that every new direct airline job results in about two additional indirect jobs like aircraft manufacturers, airport management and airport retail. Furthermore, United’s estimates indicate that each new direct and indirect job induces an additional five jobs, potentially creating a total wage impact of up to $12 billion annually.
  • Visitor Spending: Based on the FAA study, United estimates domestic air travelers spend about $500 per trip in addition to airfare (food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, etc.). The addition of 270 new aircraft means the potential to carry tens of millions more passengers per year through 2026, which, using this metric for visitor spending, could contribute more than $30 billion in annual consumer spending when traveling on United.
  • Taxes & Fees: Each year, United generates about $4 billion of direct (ticket excise, fuel, and property) and payroll taxes. United’s own internal analysis estimates that these numbers will increase as a result of purchasing these 270 new aircraft.

Sustainability

By 2026, United expects its use of aircraft in this new order alone will lower the airline’s total carbon emissions per seat up to 15%. Specifically, the 737 MAX and A321neo aircraft offer better overall range and environmental performance with their new, more fuel-efficient engines and improved aerodynamics. Improvements come from new engines, lighter-weight carbon composite airframes and aerodynamic innovations like natural laminar flow that reduces drag. United has set an ambitious goal to be 100% green by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 100% by 2050, without relying on traditional carbon offsets.

In addition, Boeing released this statement:

Boeing and United Airlines today announced the carrier will expand its 737 order book by purchasing an additional 200 737 MAX jets, including 150 for the largest member of the family, the 737-10, and 50 for the airplane that serves the heart of the single-aisle market, the 737-8. The new purchase positions United’s fleet for growth and accelerating demand for air travel.

The purchase increases United’s order book for the fuel-efficient, single-aisle family to 380 airplanes, including 30 that have been delivered. As the launch customer for the 737-10, United placed its first order in 2017 by converting 100 737-9 orders to the larger 737-10 variant. Today’s agreement also includes the purchase of Boeing 737 MAX training simulator data packages to support United’s pilot training programs.

Designed and built in Renton, Washington, the 737 MAX family delivers superior efficiency, flexibility and reliability while reducing fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 14% compared to the airplanes it replaces. The 737-8 seats up to 189 passengers and can fly 3,550 nautical miles – about 600 miles farther than its predecessor – allowing airlines to offer new and more direct routes for passengers.

The largest model in the family, the 737-10 seats up to 230 passengers in a single-class configuration and can fly up to 3,300 miles. The fuel-efficient jet can cover 99% of single-aisle routes, including routes served by 757s.

In addition, Airbus issued this statement:

United Airlines has placed an order for 70 Airbus A321neo aircraft, positioning the airline to grow its presence in the single-aisle market in alignment with its “United Next” initiative.  The new order complements existing orders from United for 50 A321XLR aircraft, bringing the total commitment from the airline to 120 A321 aircraft.

United’s A321neo aircraft will feature Airbus’ Airspace cabin design, which brings the following passenger-pleasing enhancements: unique welcome and customizable hero lighting (which helps reduce jet lag); new slimmer sidewall panels for extra personal space at shoulder level; better views through the windows with their redesigned bezels and completely integrated window shades; the latest full LED lighting technologies; the largest overhead bin in class; and new lavatories with hygienic touchless features and antimicrobial surfaces.

A significant number of the newly-ordered aircraft will be produced at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. Globally, as of the end of May 2021, the A320neo Family had achieved 7,400 firm orders from 121 customers.

Top Copyright Photo: The first United MAX 8 has been delivered: United Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N27251 (msn 43931) BFI (Nick Dean). Image: 954274.

United aircraft slide show (new livery, Boeing):

United advances innovation through corporate venture capital fund

United Airlines launched a new, corporate venture fund today – United Airlines Ventures – that will allow the airline to continue investing in emerging companies that have the potential to influence the future of travel. The new fund will concentrate on sustainability concepts that will complement United’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050 – without relying on traditional carbon offsets – as well as revolutionary aerospace developments and innovative technologies that are expected to create value for customers and United’s operation.

“Younger companies today have learned from aviation’s rich history and are combining it with more advanced technology and creative thinking to develop new ideas that give us the ability to revolutionize how airlines operate and in turn, the experience customers have when they fly,”  said United CEO Scott Kirby. “With United Airlines Ventures, we’re signaling our confidence in these companies and propelling them forward with our expertise and financial support to demonstrate that our commitment to innovation will strengthen our company and improve our customers’ experience more quickly than anyone ever anticipated.”

With major agreements announced in just the last six months including agreements to invest in, collaborate with and purchase aircraft from Archer Aviation, United has proven its commitment to work with companies that are developing transformational technologies and services that are designed to revolutionize the customer experience and redefine how airlines operate.

Through United Airlines Ventures, United will continue to forge a new path by accelerating the growth of small- to medium-sized companies with strong potential.

United’s current Vice President of Corporate Development and Investor Relations, Michael Leskinen, will assume the role of President of United Airlines Ventures in addition to his current responsibilities.

“United has always been a pioneer within the industry and United Airlines Ventures will help us grow companies that are pushing the envelope to make air travel better for our customers, our employees and our planet,” said Leskinen. “We’re making more than a financial commitment to companies within this new portfolio; we’re lending our expertise so that new ideas can really take off.”

United continues to be a leader in the adoption of new sustainable aviation technologies and innovations. Last week, the company announced its agreement to purchase 15 of Boom Supersonic ‘Overture’ aircraft with an option for an additional 35 airliners. Once in service, Overture will not only re-introduce supersonic commercial flight, it is expected to be the first long-haul commercial aircraft to be net zero carbon from day one optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

United tentatively orders 15 Boom Supersonic SST airliners

Boom Supersonic made this announcement:

United Airlines today announced a commercial agreement with Denver-based aerospace company Boom Supersonic to add aircraft to its global fleet as well as a cooperative sustainability initiative – a move that facilitates a leap forward in returning supersonic speeds to aviation.

Under the terms of the agreement, United will purchase 15 of Boom’s ‘Overture’ airliners, once Overture meets United’s demanding safety, operating and sustainability requirements, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft.

The companies will work together on meeting those requirements before delivery. Once operational, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net-zero carbon from day one, optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It is slated to roll out in 2025, fly in 2026 and expected to carry passengers by 2029. United and Boom will also work together to accelerate production of greater supplies of SAF.

Capable of flying at speeds of Mach 1.7 – twice the speed of today’s fastest airliners – Overture can connect more than 500 destinations in nearly half the time. Among the many future potential routes for United are Newark to London in just three and a half hours, Newark to Frankfurt in four hours and San Francisco to Tokyo in just six hours.

Overture will also be designed with features such as in-seat entertainment screens, ample personal space, and contactless technology. Working with Boom is another component of United’s strategy to invest in innovative technologies that will build a more sustainable future of air travel.

United Sweepstakes gives vaccinated customers a shot to win free flights, a year of travel

United Airlines Boeing 767-322 ER WL N671UA (msn 30026) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 953835.

United Airlines has made this announcement:

“Your Shot to Fly” sweepstakes aims to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations in support of the Biden administration’s national effort to encourage people to get vaccinated

United is only U.S. airline where customers can upload COVID-19 testing and vaccination records directly to the airline’s app and website via the Travel-Ready Center

United Airlines is offering its loyalty program members the chance to win free flights for a year’s worth of travel, in support of the Biden administration’s national effort to encourage more people to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

Under the terms of the “Your Shot to Fly” sweepstakes, any new or existing MileagePlus® member who uploads their vaccination records to the airline’s mobile app or website between today and June 22 can be entered to win a roundtrip flight for two, in any class of service, to anywhere in the world United flies. United will give away 30 pairs of tickets throughout the month of June. In addition – on July 1 United will announce five randomly selected lucky MileagePlus members who have entered our sweepstakes for a grand prize of travel for a year for themselves and a companion – also in any class of service, anywhere in the world United flies. For video and photos of the upload process, click here.

United remains the only U.S. airline that gives customers the ability to upload COVID-19 testing and vaccination records directly to the airline’s digital platforms including its award-winning mobile app though the airline’s Travel-Ready Center. By uploading your vaccine record with United, customers will save time at the airport and be confident they are ready to fly to destinations where showing proof of vaccination is required.

“We’re proud to do our part to incentivize people to get their shot,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “Thanks to the vaccine, more and more destinations are opening up for travel – and we know our customers are eager to fly. We’re excited to give people one more reason to get vaccinated so they can reunite with friends and family or take that long-awaited vacation which all could be just one shot away.”

United is giving sweepstakes winners – and all customers – more options to visit dream destinations, as the airline is launching brand-new routes to Croatia, Greece and Iceland, and resuming flights to Italy, Portugal, Spain and France this summer. The airline is also growing its presence in Africa, with new nonstop flights from New York/Newark to Johannesburg, South Africa starting June 3* (*subject to government approval), complementing recently launched service from Washington, D.C. to Accra, Ghana and seasonal nonstop flights from New York/Newark to Cape Town, South Africa. United will also resume service between San Francisco and Tahiti in June.

The sweepstakes is open to any resident of the United States who is at least 18 years old and a MileagePlus member. For more information and to enter, visit United.com/YourShotToFly.

Top Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 767-322 ER WL N671UA (msn 30026) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 953835.

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