United Airlines buy 25 new Boeing 737 Max and increased the delivery of previously ordered aircraft as demand for once-lucrative aircraft airline industry is starting to come back, the airline said on Monday.
The new planes are expected to be delivered in 2023, commercial director Andrew Nocella said in a note to employees. He added that the delivery date of 40 previously ordered Max jets has been postponed to 2022 and the delivery of five Max jets has been postponed to 2023. This is in addition to the 24 Max jets that the airline was already due to receive this year. -the.
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In total, this represents 94 new aircraft, which Nocella says is “good news” for employees, customers and the “communities we serve around the world”.
“There is no denying that the past year has been extremely difficult for us as an airline and as an industry,” said Nocella. “But we are now in a position not only to survive the crisis, but also to thrive as an airline, to elevate our product for customers and to emerge as a stronger and better United Airlines.”
The deal, according to Nocella, will best position United’s “fleet for recovery” after a year of unprecedented difficulties.
The news comes just after the airliner returned to the skies at the end of December for the first time in nearly two years in a pair of fatal accidents involving the plane less than five months apart forced U.S. regulators to bring the plane to a standstill.
All Max planes around the world have been grounded after the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019, which killed all 157 people on board, and the Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October 2018, which killed the 189 people on board.
In both crashes, an automated flight control system repeatedly pitched nose down based on faulty sensor readings, and the pilots were unable to regain control.
However, last November, the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes Boeing made to the system, effectively allowing airlines to resume piloting the aircraft. American Airlines was the first to do so on December 29, carrying passengers from Miami to New York.
The grounding coincided with a growing pandemic that shattered travel demand, causing major financial losses for major airlines.
In the fourth quarter alone, United suffered a net loss of $ 1.9 billion.
Despite the complications surrounding the pandemic, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said the airline “aggressively handling the challenges of 2020 depends on our innovation and rapid decision making.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.