Earlier this year, United Airlines placed an order for seven new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The Chicago-based carrier is expecting to receive these planes by the time 2021 is over.
According to a United Q1 2019 report shared by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, United made the call for the new aircraft during the first three months of this year. Additionally, the airline is expecting the arrival of other aircraft types next year.
“In the first quarter of 2020, the Company exercised options for the purchase of seven new Boeing 787 aircraft which are expected to be delivered in 2021,” the commission states in the document.
“United also has agreements to purchase 20 used Airbus A319 aircraft with expected delivery dates through 2022 and 18 used Boeing 737-700 aircraft with expected delivery dates through 2021.”
Simple Flying reached out to United Airlines for comment on its Boeing 787 orders. A spokesperson confirmed that these orders were placed before the global health crisis rocked the airline’s operations.
Had the aviation industry not been impacted in the way that it has over the last few months, the airline may not have placed this sort of order. Several airlines across the globe have been trying to push back deliveries amid the low demand travel expected to continue into next year.
Nonetheless, according to The Points Guy, United CFO Gerry Laderman has expressed that it is financially impractical to reschedule the deliveries at the moment. Therefore, unless production suspensions impact the schedule, United’s fleet will still be joined by these widebodies in 2021.
Ultimately, the operator is looking to rely more on its fuel-efficient 787s for long-haul services for the foreseeable future. It is streamlining international operations due to the ongoing travel restrictions. Therefore, Dreamliners are conducting most of its long-haul flights for this month. The firm’s 787-9s will go to Asia and South America while its 787-10s are heading to Europe.
Meanwhile, services to Guam and Tokyo Narita are currently flying with a 737. Additionally, for the first three days of this month, operations to São Paulo from Houston were conducted by a 767. Furthermore, most passenger flights are currently inactive. Therefore, the carrier is also putting its Dreamliners to use on cargo services.
More changes could be on the cards
he airline recently closed its 787 pilot base in Los Angeles. With United president Scott Kirby admitting that everything is on the table, there has been speculation that the company could close its base at LAX.
Altogether, United will be hoping that the global climate is in much better shape by the time the new 787s join. The airline already has 55 of the jets within its fleet. Therefore, it will be hoping that its new arrivals don’t have to remain in the ground like several of its aircraft right now.
What are your thoughts on United’s Dreamliner orders? How will United deploy its future arrivals next year? Let us know what you think in the comment section.