United CEO Oscar Munoz has shared that the new Bombardier CRJ-550 has helped connect smaller towns with other areas across the United States. The aircraft launched its first flights last month and United has already received positive feedback.
The carrier flew the first of its aircraft on October 27 with flights in and out of Chicago. United’s goal with the 50-seat plane is to offer a premium cabin experience on regional operations. Many of the firm’s initial 15 routes with the CRJ-550 fly to various airports that aren’t traditionally classed as major hubs.
Allentown, Bentonville, Cedar Rapids, Madison, Richmond, Madison Columbus, and Des Moines are some of the destinations that are served from Chicago. Furthermore, United is currently adding more flights to Newark and Washington Dulles.
Yesterday, Munoz spoke at a luncheon at The Aviation Club UK. The executive shared how the jets have revamped the way United’s passengers in the middle regions of United States travel. The airline provides WiFi, extra amenities and first-class seating on these models.
“We are capitalizing on our network. We have some middle of the country places that have some real growth capability,” Munoz shared at a luncheon, attended by Simple Flying.
“Part of the reason people don’t like to fly from small cities to a big hub is that we have really small aircraft. 50 seaters are really difficult, they are small and are not particularly user-friendly…CRJ-550 really solves that.”
When asked about how those who have traveled on the new airliners have responded, Munoz shared that the feedback has been positive.
“Oh, it has been great. I’m getting constant feedback from prominent people. From people that write, people in the political space, and business people that are flying it. It really is a pleasant experience.” he added.
The businessman will be flying on one of the CRJ-550s to visit a friend who runs Walmart, at the company’s headquarters, which is based in Bentonville, Arkansas
“Now, that’s one of the big customers that doesn’t necessarily fly United because of the fact that we had those smaller, uncomfortable aircraft. So, now we are going to apply the CRJ. It’s going well,” Munoz concluded.
United has been trying to tap into previously undervalued business markets. Earlier this year, the airline reconfigured many of its Boeing 767s with premium seating. The new interior features 46 United Polaris business class seats and 22 United Premium Plus seats.
Along with this, the airline has switched its London to Denver service from seasonal to year-round. These are all efforts to attract business travelers within a changing market. The company has stated many of these passengers want to travel in greater comfort while on business than while on leisure trips.
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