United Airlines Makes Biggest Aircraft Order In Its History, Expects To Create 25,000 Jobs

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Thomas Catenacci Energy & Environment Reporter
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United Airlines, already among the largest global commercial airlines, announced Tuesday that it would add another 270 aircraft to its fleet and create tens of thousands of jobs by 2026.

United Airlines‘ purchase of both Boeing and Airbus aircraft represents the largest combined order in the company’s history and the largest by any airline in the past decade, according to the announcement. The airline will also renovate its entire fleet with improved in-flight entertainment, larger overhead bins and improved WiFi by 2025.

“This move underscores the critical role United plays in fueling the broader U.S. economy — we expect the addition of these new aircraft will have a significant economic impact on the communities we serve in terms of job creation, traveler spending and commerce,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement.

The expansion of United’s fleet will lead to the creation of 25,000 “well-paying, unionized” jobs by 2026, the airline said. The company said the aircraft purchase and creation of tens of thousands of new jobs will have a positive ripple effect across the U.S. economy. (RELATED: United Airlines To Buy Supersonic Jets That Can Fly To About 500 Destinations In Half The Time)

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 22, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 22, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The majority of the new jobs will be added in Newark, New Jersey, San Francisco, California, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Illinois, and Houston, Texas, according to United.

United said it expects to drive more than $30 billion in traveler spending and contribute about $50 billion to the U.S. economy overall by 2026.

“The addition of these 270 new aircraft and reduction of single-class regional jets is not only good news for customers, it is excellent news for the 12,000 current United pilots, and the 10,000 more we expect to hire before the decade is out,” Capt. Todd Insler, who chairs United’s pilot union, said in a statement.

United said it will create new flight routes, but didn’t offer additional details.

The airline currently employs about 76,400 people, 68,000 of which are unionized, the company said.

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