After the extended staycation that was 2020, airlines are looking to cash in.
United Airlines’ latest move is to buy 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets and 70 Airbus SE A321neos, a deal valued at $30B+ before discounts, per The Wall Street Journal.
In total, United is investing in 500 new planes over the coming years, 300 of which will replace older, smaller aircraft, increasing seat capacity by 30% on domestic flights.
Other airlines are also feeling optimistic
Back in March, Southwest ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX jets with options for 155 more.
While we’re not at 2019 flight stats, the numbers are creeping back up. On June 28, 2m+ travelers went through TSA, compared to ~625k in 2020; 2019 saw ~2.45m travelers.
United is actually banking on July being profitable, something that hasn’t happened since January of 2020.
And more flights mean more jobs
Airlines and airports say one of the biggest challenges isn’t getting the planes but restaffing.
- United let ~22k employees go during the pandemic, but will add ~25k jobs over the next 5 years.
- Delta is looking to add 1.3k jobs.
- American Airlines is on a hiring spree after canceling 100s of flights due to staff shortages and maintenance issues.
- Southwest is using chatbots to fill its ~2k open positions faster.
If you need any more proof that…
… United is bullish on future air travel prospects, the airline also:
- Made a $1B investment in Archer Aviation, a startup that makes electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft (AKA air taxis).
- Ordered 15 supersonic aircrafts from Boom Supersonic (with the potential to increase the order to 50 planes based on safety tests).
Now, all we need from United is a supersonic air taxi.