A United Airlines Boeing 787-9 in the most recent livery at Beijing Capital International Airport.

As of January 2024, the United Airlines fleet consists of 944 mainline aircraft, making it the third-largest commercial airline fleet in the world.[1][2][3] United Airlines operates a mix of Airbus and Boeing narrowbody and all Boeing widebody aircraft.

As of September 2023, with an average age of 16.3 years, United has the oldest fleet of all major US airlines.[4][5][6][7] Their oldest planes are the Boeing 767-300ER from the early 1990s, which are between 30 and 32 years old.[8] However, United recently placed several orders for new narrowbody and widebody aircraft and are expecting over 700 new planes in their fleet by 2033.[citation needed]

Fleet strategy

On July 20, 2011, American Airlines announced an order for 460 narrowbody jets, including 260 Airbus A320s.[9] This order broke Boeing's monopoly with the airline and forced Boeing to proceed with plans for the re-engined 737 MAX.[10] The contract with American included a Most-Favoured-Customer Clause, which requires Airbus to refund to American any difference between the price paid by American and the price paid by United or another airline, if lower. The clause acts to perpetuate United having a Boeing-skewed fleet.[11]

On September 22, 2012, United became the first American airline to take delivery of Boeing 787 aircraft.[12] United is also the North American launch customer for the Boeing 787-9[13] and 787-10 aircraft,[14] which are stretched versions of the base 787-8 model, delivered at launch.

In May 2018, United planned to replace its 51 Boeing 767s in a deal potentially worth $14 billion at list prices, and was in talks with both Airbus and Boeing, for their A330neo and 787.[15] United operates 128 757s and 767s (77 757s and 51 767s), the second-largest combined fleet after Delta Air Lines with 206 (127 757s and 79 767s). Both have to replace them; they could be replaced by 737 MAX 10s, A321neos, Boeing NMAs, 787-8s or A330-800s.[16]

On June 3, 2021, United announced that a deal had been confirmed with Boom Supersonic to purchase at least 15 of their Overture supersonic airliners & potentially up to 50 in total. These aircraft will be flown on 100% sustainable fuels. The aircraft are intended to enter service with United in 2029 & are expected to be the first supersonic airliners to fly domestically for an airline since the Concorde was retired with British Airways & Air France in 2003.[17]

On June 29, 2021, United announced an order for 270 aircraft valued at around $15 billion:[18] 150 737 MAX 10 aircraft, 50 737 MAX 8 aircraft, and 70 A321neo aircraft. As new aircraft arrive, the airline also announced these will include AVOD (Audio and Video On Demand) screens on every seat, as well as the retrofit of all mainline aircraft to include AVOD screens by 2025. United has also announced the retirement of older mainline aircraft and at least 200 single-class regional aircraft. The 737 MAX 8 aircraft debuts with the airline this summer while 737 MAX 10 and A321neo aircraft start delivery in 2023.[19] United also expects to create 25,000 union jobs, mostly in United States hubs locations, by 2026.[20] The order would be valued at $35.4 billion based on the listed price of the jets.[21]

Current fleet

As of December 2023, United Airlines operates the following aircraft:[22][23]

United Airlines fleet
Aircraft In
service
Orders Passengers Notes
J F W Y+ Y Total Refs
Airbus A319-100 81 12 36 78 126 [24] To be retrofitted with United's Signature Interior by 2025.[25]
Airbus A320-200 91 12 42 96 150 [26]
Airbus A321neo 3 127 20 57 123 200 [27][28] Deliveries until 2032.[28]
Airbus A321XLR 50[29] TBA Deliveries start in 2024.[29]
To replace Boeing 757.
Airbus A350-900 45[30]
TBA
Delivery deferred to 2030, at the earliest.[31]
Boeing 737-700 40 12 36 78 126 [32] To be retrofitted with United's Signature Interior by 2025.[25]
Boeing 737-800 141 16 48 102 166 [33] To be retrofitted with United's Signature Interior by 2025.[25]
54 96
42 108
Boeing 737-900 12 20 42 117 179 [34]
Boeing 737-900ER 136 20 45 114 179
42 117
39 120
Boeing 737 MAX 8 80 388[35] 16 54 96 166 [33]
Boeing 737 MAX 9 79 20 48 111 179 [34] Largest operator.[36]
Boeing 737 MAX 10
TBA
Launch customer.[37]
Deliveries start in 2025.[38]
20 64 104 188 [39] Domestic configuration.[25]
Boeing 757-200 40 16 45 108 169 [40]
42 118 176
Boeing 757-300 21 24 54 156 234 [41] Largest operator.[25]
Boeing 767-300ER 13 30 24 32 113 199 To be retired and replaced by Boeing 787.[42]
24 46 22 43 56 167
Boeing 767-400ER 16 34 24 48 125 231 [43]
Boeing 777-200 19 28 102 234 364 [44] Launch customer.[45]
To be retired and replaced by Boeing 787.[42]
Used for select domestic, hub-to-hub, and Hawaii routes.[46]
Boeing 777-200ER 51 50 24 46 156 276 [44]
4 32 124 206 362
Boeing 777-300ER 22 60 24 62 204 350 [47]
Boeing 787-8 12 150[35][48][27] 28 21 36 158 243 [49] Order with 100 options.[50]
To replace Boeing 767-300ER and Boeing 777-200.[42]
Boeing 787-9 38 48 21 39 149 257 [51]
Boeing 787-10 21 44 21 54 199 318 [52]
Total 944 760

Gallery

Historical fleet

United Airlines former fleet[53]
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Replacement Notes
Boeing 40A Un­known 1927 1937 Un­known Launch customer.
Operated by Boeing Air Transport[54] and Varney Air Lines.
Boeing 80A Un­known 1928 1934 Un­known Launch customer.
Operated by Boeing Air Transport.
Boeing 247 59[55] 1933 1942 Un­known Launch customer.
All base models were built for United Airlines.[56]
Boeing 377 Stratocruiser 7[55] 1950 1954 Un­known
Boeing 720 29[55] 1960 1976 Boeing 727 Launch customer.
Boeing 727-100 126 1963 1993 Boeing 737-500
Boeing 727-200 104 1968 2001 Airbus A320 family
Boeing 737 NG
Bombardier CRJ-700
Boeing 737-200 101 1968 2001 Launch customer.
Boeing 737-300 103 1969 2009
Boeing 737-500[57] 73 1990 2009
29 2010 2013 Taken over from merged Continental Airlines.
Boeing 747-100 23 1970 1999 Boeing 747-400
Boeing 777-200ER
One was damaged as Flight 811, but was later repaired and re-registered as N4724U.
Boeing 747-200B 10 1987 2000
Boeing 747SP 11 1985 1995 Boeing 747-400
Boeing 767-300ER
Boeing 777-200
Taken over from Pan Am.
Boeing 747-400 44 1989 2017 Boeing 777-300ER
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Largest operator of Boeing 747-400 in United States.
Boeing 767-200 19 1982 2005 Boeing 757-200
Boeing 767-300ER
Launch customer. Many were later upgraded to -ER standards.
One hijacked and crashed into South Tower of the World Trade Center as Flight 175, as part of the September 11 attacks.
Boeing 767-200ER[58] 10 2010 2013 Taken over from merged Continental Airlines.
Convair 340 52 1952 1968 Un­known
Douglas DC-3 118 1936 1956 Convair 340
Douglas DC-4 36 1946 1957 Un­known
Douglas DC-4E Un­known
Douglas DC-6 90 1946 1969 Un­known
Douglas DC-6B Un­known
Douglas DC-7 57 1954 1966 Un­known
Douglas DC-8-10 2 1959 1961 None Both crashed as Flight 826 and Flight 859.
Douglas DC-8-20 30 1959 1982 Boeing 727-200
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-30 11 1967 1974
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-50 18 1959 1983
15 1964 1987 None Cargo fleet. Two crashed as Flight 2860 and Flight 2885.
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-60 41 1967 1991 Boeing 757-200 One crashed as Flight 173.
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-70
Ford Trimotor Un­known 1931 Un­known Un­known Operated on a transcontinental route between New York City and San Francisco.[59]
Laird Swallow J-5 Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known Single seat biplane used to carry US Air Mail (CAM 5) by predecessor Varney Air Lines.[60]
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 6 1986 1989 Boeing 747-100
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30
Taken over from Pan Am.[53]
All aircraft were sold to Delta Air Lines
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 48 1971 2001 Boeing 757-200
Boeing 767-300ER
Boeing 777-200
Launch customer.
One crashed as Flight 232
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 7 1983 2001
4 1997 None Converted into freighters for the short-lived "United Airlines Worldwide Cargo" service.
Sud Aviation Caravelle 20 1961 1970 Boeing 727
Boeing 737-200
Only U.S. operator in scheduled passenger service.
Used to operate "Executive" service between Chicago and Newark restricted to men only passengers. Also operated on other United domestic services.
Vickers Viscount 48 1961 1969 Former Capital Airlines aircraft.
Only mainline turboprop aircraft type ever operated by United Airlines.

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