News and Commentary

United Airlines Buys Massive Number Of Jets As Travel Picks Up
Airplanes to Leonardo da Vinci airport in Fiumicino Boeing 787 Dreamliner United Airlines. Airplanes to Leonardo da Vinci airport. Fiumicino, Rome (Italy), May 25th, 2021 (Photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images) Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor via Getty Images
Photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor via Getty Images

United Airlines recently announced a massive order of jets as the company anticipates travel picking up throughout the summer. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, “The Chicago-based airline said Tuesday that it will purchase 200 of [Boeing’s] 737 MAX jets and 70 larger [Airbus] A321neos, a deal valued at more than $30 billion at list prices before customary discounts.”

As reported by The Associated Press, “Figures from Ascend by Cirium, which tracks aircraft values, would put the deal around $15 billion. United declined to disclose financial terms.”

The Journal added that the airline “is looking to replace most of its 50-seat jets and other smaller, older aircraft with these larger planes that can carry more passengers and allow it to sell more premium seats as part of a strategy to expand flying out of its main hubs and to lure more high paying travelers.”

The order is the largest one from a U.S. airline since American Airlines put in an order for 460 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft 10 years ago. The company seems optimistic that travel will come back strong after people feel comfortable traveling again. United is also planning to hire 25,000 employees by 2026, which is reportedly almost a “37% increase to its front-line workforce.”

“United lost more than $7 billion last year and accepted billions of dollars in government aid to continue paying workers. Now the airline expects to make money in July on an adjusted pretax basis, which would be its first profitable month since January 2020, the airline said in a separate filing Monday,” per The Journal.

Air travel has increased over the past several months when compared with numbers from last year. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints reported over 1.9 million travelers on Wednesday, up from just over 600,000 passengers for the same day in 2020. 

Other airlines have struggled to keep up with the influx of post-pandemic travelers and a lack of employees. American Airlines announced it would be cancelling hundreds of flights over the summer partially because it does not have enough staff to keep up with the demand.

As reported by The Daily Wire earlier this month, a spokeswoman for American Airlines told The Hill, “The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers’ plans.”

The spokeswoman added, “That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July.”

As The Daily Wire previously reported, American Airlines asked its own headquarters employees at Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport to volunteer during a travel surge over the summer months.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, American Airlines isn’t making its workers volunteer, but if they do give up their time, they won’t be paid for the additional effort. They also must work the extra hours when they are not carrying out their regular requirements. 

They will mostly provide assistance to airline customers who need help. “The volunteers will be there to supplement full-time workers such as gate and ticketing agents, and the airline is only expecting to use the volunteers during the busiest period, from June until mid-August,” the outlet noted.

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