United commits to 737MAX from Boeing

United Airlines and Boeing announced today an order for 150 narrow-body aircraft including 100 of the 737MAX. The order is not much of a surprise given the leak on Monday at Farnborough but it is now confirmed. The inclusion of 50 737-900ER aircraft was not mentioned previously. The order will see United as the North America launch customer for the 737 MAX 9.


These aircraft will be used to replace older aircraft in the fleet and to "tailor future capacity up or down, based on changes in demand or other market conditions" according to United’s CEO Jeff Smisek.

United currently operates more than 80 757s in a domestic configuration, many of which are 20 years old and nearly all of which likely will be by the time the replacement aircraft are delivered. There are also a number of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft which could be replaced as part of this refresh, some of which are also approaching the 20 year mark in service.

The 737-900ERs will be delivered starting in 2013 and the 737 MAX 9 aircraft are expected to be delivered starting in 2018 according to a release from United.

Photo courtesy of Boeing

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Can the Max-9 make it across the Atlantic like the 757’s do? Do you think they will have 24F or 20F like the 737-9?

    1. Yes, Mike, the plane has the range for the nearer edges of Western Europe from EWR. I don’t expect to see it operating on those routes anytime soon, mostly because configuring it with the BusinessFirst seats will eat away capacity pretty quickly and make it harder to be profitable.

      As for the advantages of the aircraft, it is mostly about fuel efficiency and operational performance. Expect the MAX to be quieter and burn less fuel than the current models, mostly because of new winglets and engines.

  2. So from a customer (comfort) perspective, there will be virtually no difference between the 737-900ER and the 737 MAX-900?

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