United Airlines’ ‘historic’ aircraft purchase could mean thousands of new jobs in Denver

The airline is buying up to 200 new planes in coming years.
2 min. read
A plane flies over Confluence Park. Dec. 2, 2021.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

More than 1,800 new jobs could come to Denver in 2023 as United Airlines announced Tuesday that it will increase hiring following what it calls a historic purchase of between 100 to 200 new widebody planes.

The purchase is the largest order of such planes by a U.S. airline in commercial aviation history, according to a press release from United. Widebody planes are aircraft that typically fly internationally, carrying a large volume of passengers with two aisles and seven or more seats across.

United has placed an order for 100 aircraft so far, with the option to add an additional 100. Denver will see the effects of the purchase, with the airline operating a hub and training center out of Denver International Airport and as it plans to add staffing and more flights.

The purchase comes during a time of growth for United and as air travel has bounced back since the start of the pandemic.

At DIA, 2023 traffic levels are expected to exceed pre-pandemic numbers. But air travel has remained tumultuous, as airports and airlines have struggled with staffing issues and cancelled flights.

The new planes will replace older models, "resulting in up to an expected 25% decrease in carbon emissions per seat for the new planes compared to the older planes they are expected to replace," according to the press release. It's part of United's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 percent by 2050 without buying carbon offsets.

United expects the planes to arrive between 2024 and 2032.

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