DALLAS — On November 30, United Airlines (UA) completed the inaugural flight of its new Airbus A321neo, departing from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). This marks the first addition of a new Airbus aircraft to UA’s fleet since 2002.
Airways caught the type landing at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) the day after. The inaugural was originally ORD-PHX on 12/14, but UA moved it up multiple times and eventually changed it to ORD-IAH on 11/30, with PHX being flight #2.
The A321neo introduces UA’s most advanced cabin interior to date, which includes Panasonic’s innovative NEXT inflight entertainment system. Passengers can enjoy a high-quality, customizable experience with features such as a stunning 13-inch 4K screen, curated content options, a detailed flight timeline, a 3D map with destination guides, and onboard food and beverage menus.
In addition to the enhanced entertainment system, the new aircraft offers a range of other features. Passengers can enjoy UA’s new domestic first-class seat, which offers wireless charging and increased privacy.
The overhead bins have been enlarged to accommodate every passenger’s roll-aboard bag. High-speed Wi-Fi with streaming capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity, and LED lighting designed to create a modern and soothing ambiance are also available onboard.
The introduction of the A321neo is just one part of United’s larger growth strategy known as United NEXT. Under this strategy, UA plans to acquire approximately 800 new narrowbody and widebody aircraft from 2023 to the end of 2032.
Additionally, existing narrowbody aircraft will be retrofitted with UA’s Signature Interior, ensuring a consistent and high-quality experience across its fleet.
Featured image: United Airlines’ new A321neo at PHX. Photo: Chris Goulet/Airways