United Airlines places world's largest single order in a decade for 270 jets

Aircraft purchases will create 25,000 jobs and airline will increase total number of available seats across its domestic network by almost 30%

(FILES) In this file photo a United Airlines plane taxis at Los Angeles International Airport on September 27, 2019. United Airlines has scheduled of two public events for June 29, 2021 raising expectations it will announce orders for more than 200 new Airbus and Boeing planes, an aviation industry expert said on June 28, 2021. The big carrier invited reporters to Newark Airport to join Chief Executive Scott Kirby on Tuesday morning for an event focused on "the future of our airline," according to an invitation sent last week.  / AFP / Daniel SLIM

United Airlines is revamping its fleet with the largest aircraft order in its history for 270 Boeing and Airbus narrowbody jets, making it the world's biggest plane order by an individual carrier in the last decade.

The airline placed orders for 50 Boeing 737 Max 8s, 150 Boeing 737 Max 10s and 70 Airbus A321 Neos worth more than $30 billion at list prices, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The planned purchases will create 25,000 jobs, forecast to drive more than $30bn in traveller spending and contribute about $50bn annually towards the US economy by 2026, according to a study from the Federal Aviation Administration and United's internal estimates.

The new single-aisle planes will come with a new cabin that includes seat-back screens, larger overhead bins and the industry's fastest available in-flight WiFi, United Airlines said.

The upgrades "will revolutionise the experience of flying United as we accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel," Scott Kirby, chief executive of United Airlines, said.

The airline expects to fly the first 737 Max 8 with the new interior this summer and to begin flying the 737 Max 10 and the Airbus A321 Neo in early 2023.

The United deal includes the purchase of Boeing 737 Max training simulator data packages to support United's pilot training programnes, the US planemaker said in a separate statement on Tuesday.

Airbus said "a significant number" of the newly-ordered aircraft will be produced at its US manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama, according to a statement by the Toulouse-based planemaker.

By 2026, United Airlines expects its use of aircraft in the new order alone will lower the airline's total carbon emissions per seat up to 15 per cent. The airline set an ambitious goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 100 per cent by 2050, without relying on traditional carbon offsets.

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