MIAMI – United Airlines (UA) has announced an order for 25 more Boeing 737 MAXs, which will increase the airline’s total 737 MAX fleet to over 180 aircraft once all have been delivered.

United Airlines, already a major 737 MAX customer, has chosen to speed up deliveries and expand its fleet with more 737 MAXs. According to the carrier’s new 10-K filing, United purchased an additional 25 Boeing 737 MAXs on February 26, 2021.

These 25 aircraft are set to be delivered to United in 2023. As of now, the specific 737 MAX variant for this order is unclear. UA will also move forward the delivery of 40 previously ordered 737 MAXs to 2022 and five 737 MAXs into 2023.

According to the filing, United now has firm commitments for 188 Boeing 737 MAXs. The airline intends to take delivery of 21 more this year and now 40 in 2022. Just last month, UA resumed 737 MAX operations after the groundings were lifted.

United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 | Photo: Luca Flores/Airways

Regaining Confidence in the 737 MAX

Boeing has been plagued by both the 737 MAX groundings and the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the past year, the Chicago-based manufacturer lost hundreds of 737 MAX orders as airlines restructure their order books to stay afloat during the ongoing crisis.

At the end of 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration rescinded the 737 MAX groundings and the aircraft soon returned to service. Boeing shortly saw new orders from Alaska Airlines, who is launching 737 MAX flights today, and 75 additional orders from Ryanair. Canada’s Flair Airlines also announced it would expand its fleet with 737 MAXs.

United Airlines’ new 737 MAX order, paired with several new routes such as Orange County (SNA) to Honolulu (HNL) and Boston (BOS) to London (LHR), demonstrate the carrier’s ambitions to strategically recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Featured Image: United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 N17529 | Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways