United Airlines is adding
more than 1,600 United Polaris business class and United First
seats to nearly 250 international and domestic aircraft.
The airline will also introduce a two-cabin,
Bombardier CRJ 550 aircraft to its fleet later this year.
"In an era where many airlines are adding seats to their
aircraft to crowd more passengers onto the plane, we're
re-configuring more than 100 of our aircraft and doing exactly the
opposite – for the benefit of our customers," said Andrew Nocella,
United's executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
"From adding more premium seats on aircraft that serve some of our most traveled routes, introducing a revolutionary, best-in-class
50-seat experience or simply offering free DIRECTV on more than 200 aircraft, we are committed to making United the airline that
our customers choose to fly."
In the next several
weeks, United will introduce to its fleet the first of 21
reconfigured Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring 16 additional
United Polaris business seats in the premium cabin – a more than
50 percent increase in all-aisle-access seating – bringing the
total premium cabin seat count to 46.
The newly reconfigured
aircraft will also feature 22 United Premium Plus seats (becoming
the first 767-300ER to offer this seat type); 47 Economy Plus
seats and 52 Economy seats.
United will first operate the reconfigured 767
between Newark/New York and London, offering 50% more
premium seats. The
airline expects to introduce all the reconfigured aircraft to its
fleet by the end of next year.
United is also adding more
United First seats to its fleet of Airbus aircraft.
Beginning this fall, the carrier will add four
United First seats on its fleet of Airbus A319s, increasing the
total count from eight to 12. The reconfigured aircraft will also
feature 36 Economy Plus and 78 Economy seats.
early next year, United will add four United First seats on its
fleet of nearly 100 Airbus A320 aircraft, increasing the total
count from 12 to 16. The reconfigured aircraft will also feature
39 Economy Plus seats and 95 Economy seats.
United expects to
complete the reconfiguration of the Airbus A320 and A319s by the
middle of next year.
By the end of this year, United will
add the 50-seat Bombardier CRJ 550 aircraft
to its regional fleet, subject to government certification.
addition to becoming the only 50-seat aircraft in the world to
offer true first-class seating, the aircraft will feature LED lighting, a
self-serve beverage and snack station for customers seated in the
premium cabin and Wi-Fi. Additionally, the CRJ 550 will feature
four storage closets, providing customers ample room to store
their carryon bags.
The two-cabin CRJ 550 will feature 10 United
First seats; 20 Economy Plus seats and 20 Economy seats. The CRJ
550 aircraft will eventually replace existing single-cabin 50-seat
aircraft and will bring a higher percentage of two-cabin
departures to smaller cities across the carrier's network.
Additionally, the innovative aircraft will enable United to offer
premium seats on more connecting flights from smaller cities to
the airline's overall global network.
United expects that its
regional partner GoJet will begin operating the CRJ 550 in the
second half of this year – subject to agreement on final terms and
conditions – on select routes from Chicago, O'Hare followed by