What United's Boeing 737 MAX 9 will look like. Image from United.

What United’s Boeing 737 MAX 9 will look like. Image from United.

Today in a joint press conference in Chicago, United Airlines has announced that they will order 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9 and 50 737-900ERs. The order is worth $14.7 billion.

’œThis order is a major step in building the world’s leading airline, and we look forward to offering our customers the modern features and reliability of new Boeing airplanes, while also making our fleet more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly,’ said Jeff Smisek, United’s President and CEO. ’œNew aircraft deliveries support our flexible fleet plan, permitting us to tailor future capacity up or down, based on changes in demand or other market conditions.’

This order is huge. Although United got rid of its last Boeing 737 before the recent merger with Continental, the new (post-merger) United has a large fleet of both Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s. The fact that they have operated both aircraft and have chosen the 737. United stated that they had intensive discussions with both Boeing and Airbus about which aircraft to go with and chose to go with the 737.

Since July 5th, Boeing has received 243 orders for the 737 MAX and NG (Next Generation), not counting the new order announced today. Over all, Boeing has more than 1200 orders and commitments from 18 customers for the MAX.

VIDEO: B-roll material of the United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9

GALLERY: United Airlines Boeing 737-900ER and 737 MAX 9
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: david@airlinereporter.com

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Great for Boeing and United. I feel that Delta and United are going to return to almost 100% Boeing fleets, minus some stragglers.

Side note: Still with United had kept the tulip, every time I see an aircraft picture, I immediately think CONTINENTAL!

That is what you supposed to do.

Well, Delta’s old fleet was mostly Boeing, but then with the Northwest merger, they took on quite a few A330s and A320s. Probably going to have Airbus in their fleet for a long time.


Large fleet of 737MAX’s and 787 – United really is home to the greenest skies!
I miss the tulip too – could it return in a few years?

It should be noted that these places are replacements for other Boeing jets, not the Airbus fleet. As I read the press release, they aren’t replacements for the TATL and Hawaii 757s either, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Airbus fleet and longer-haul 757s get replaced with neos, just a thought.

But UA also said in the press conference that they could possibly use the MAX to replace their A320s in the future and that they plan to have a flexible fleet.


What I don’t get about that is that the -900ERs in the fleet right now have just 9 fewer seats than the domestic 757s, but they have 29+ more seats than the A320s. I really don’t see how that is a replacement, and it makes their fleet less flexible by reducing the number of small planes they have.

Mark C. (OKC)

Kris, as it stands now, neither the NEO nor the MAX can replace the 757 TATL routes…… they just don’t have the range and capacity the 757 has from what I’ve read.

My guess is that when the time comes to replace the 757’s…… it will have to be a wide body….. hopefully a Dreamliner, but United has time to decide that issue.

Logical Thinker

Right, but US Airways, who is a fairly large Airbus customer (actually, fleetsize wise, the largest), is pushing hard for TATL capable 320 family neos.
I would say a 787 isn’t unlikely, except for the fact that they are wasting a plane capable of 8000+mi flights on 3500mi flights. I guess only time will tell.


Replacing B757-200 to B737-900 is right direction instead stay with -800 model like American Airlines. Continental is already operating -900 Continental Micronesia as well as within US domestic route. At least this my comment.

The -900 and -900ERs currently in the fleet only fly domestic routes, they aren’t in the Micronesia fleet.

Most B733 is used in the local line in Japan.
I have continued looking at B737 from a child’s time.
B737 which is continuing evolution is wonderful.

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