United has the USA’s third-highest number of Boeing 737 MAX flights next month. With only MAX 9s in its fleet so far, they’ll be used widely across its network, but Denver is particularly important. It’ll have up to 64 daily MAX 9 flights from its Colorado hub, with 22 destinations served – including Anchorage, Bozeman, and Spokane.
United has 30 Boeing 737 MAX 9s (code: 7M9), of which 28 are currently active, according to ch-aviation.com. The only two that aren’t active are N37502 and N67501, both delivered in April 2018. All of United’s 7M9s have 179 seats spread across 111 in economy, 48 in economy plus, and 20 in first.
United was the second US airline to resume flying the MAX. The variant took to the skies on a scheduled basis on February 11th, 23 months after being grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The first flight to restart was UA1864, from Denver to Houston Intercontinental. Coincidentally, this is also the number-one route to see the carrier’s B757-300s this year.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
About 3,400 7M9 flights next month
With about 3,400 flights in July, United has far fewer MAX services than Southwest and American, based on examining data from Cirium, the aviation data company. We recently looked at Southwest’s deployment of the smaller and lighter MAX 8 and found that it has over 9,000 scheduled to operate next month. Southwest has more than twice as many MAX aircraft as United.
However, looking specifically at the 7M9, United is very much the leading operator by flights of any operator worldwide next month. It has more than three times the number as the second-largest carrier, Copa. The carrier’s role is to connect the Americas via its Panama City hub.
Denver is the key hub for the MAX 9
In July, United will have over half of its MAX 9 flights (54%) to and from its Denver hub, more than twice the amount that Houston will see. In contrast, Newark will have the fewest movements (arrivals/departures combined), from which the variant will mainly be used to Denver and Orlando. The similarity with the airline’s widebodies is notable, with hub-to-hub and leisure flying is crucial for them too.
San Francisco, meanwhile, has fewer than 100 round-trip 7M9 flights in July, with Boston, Houston, and Dulles seeing the variant. Boston will have the most service, with one departure almost daily. This is normally UA1139 that departs San Francisco at 13:30 and arrives in Massachusetts at 22:01.
Up to 64 MAX movements a day at Denver
United has up to 64 MAX 9 movements a day at Denver. Some 22 domestic routes will see it, with the most exciting perhaps thinner destinations like Anchorage, Spokane, and Bozeman. Although it does vary by day, the 7M9 will typically have two daily departures from Denver to Bozeman, one of the most successful small US airports during the pandemic because of its outdoor nature.
In July, the top-10 most-served MAX 9 routes from Denver are as follows. Los Angeles and Austin typically have three daily departures each, while it will be twice-daily for Philadelphia, Houston, and the 2,405-mile service to Alaska.
- Los Angeles
- Houston Intercontinental
- Chicago O’Hare
- Washington Dulles
Have you flown the MAX 9 yet? If so, what was it like? Let us know by commenting.