UNITED TO FURTHER MODERNIZE ITS FLEET AS IT RETIRES OLDER, LESS-EFFICIENT JETSCHICAGO, July 12, 2012 — (PRNewswire) — United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) and its wholly owned subsidiary, United Air Lines, Inc., today announced an order to purchase 150 narrowbody Boeing 737 aircraft. Under the new agreement, United will purchase 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft and 50 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft for delivery between 2013 and 2022. These new aircraft will allow United to replace older, less-efficient aircraft to reduce fuel and operating costs, enhance the customer experience and maximize network opportunities. In addition, United is the North American launch customer for the 737 MAX 9, continuing its long tradition of launching new programs such as the 767, 777 and 787.
"This 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. "New 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."
"These new aircraft, combined with our new widebody aircraft already on order and our existing fuel-efficient aircraft, will solidify United's future fleet as one of the most efficient and environmentally responsible fleets among our global competitors," said Smisek.
United will begin taking delivery of 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft in 2018. Boeing's newest family of airplanes will deliver a significant improvement in fuel efficiency in the single-aisle aircraft market. The 737 MAX 9 will be powered by the new CFM International LEAP-1B engine. The 737 MAX 9 is expected to achieve fuel burn and CO2 emission reductions of up to 13 percent compared to current 737 aircraft. United's 737 MAX fleet will feature the customer-pleasing Boeing Sky Interior, which creates a greater sense of space in the cabin and features an energy-efficient LED lighting system with different lighting and color schemes, a quieter cabin with improved ventilation, and larger overhead bins that accommodate additional carry-on bags.
United also plans to purchase 50 additional Boeing 737-900ER aircraft with deliveries beginning in late 2013. These next-generation models will be used primarily to replace older, less-efficient Boeing 757-200 aircraft that are flown domestically and are expected to burn up to 15 percent less fuel per seat than the aircraft they replace. CFM56-7B engines will power the aircraft. United was the North American launch customer for the 737-900ER when its predecessor placed its first order in 2006 and currently operates a fleet of 43 737-900ER aircraft.
The new 737-900ER will also feature the Boeing Sky Interior, which has been included on United's 737-900ER aircraft since United became the first U.S. airline to operate 737-900ER aircraft with the new interior in 2011.
This order solidifies United's well-balanced order book with 272 new aircraft deliveries anticipated through 2022, including 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 25 Airbus A350XWBs. United will be the first North American carrier to take delivery of the 787 Dreamliner, a revolutionary airplane that will provide customers a superior travel experience while reducing fuel and operating costs by up to 20 percent, with the first delivery scheduled in late September.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,605 flights a day to 375 airports on six
continents from our hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. In 2011, United carried more traffic than any other airline in the world and operated more than two million flights carrying 142 million passengers. United is upgrading its cabins with more flat-bed seats in first and business class and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any other airline in North America. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has orders for more than 272 new aircraft deliveries through 2022, including 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, 25 Airbus A350XWBs, and 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9s. United was rated the world's most admired airline on FORTUNE magazine's 2012 airline-industry list of the World's Most Admired Companies. Readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for eight consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 193 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
Forward Looking Statements
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Certain statements included in this release are forward-looking and thus reflect our current expectations and beliefs with respect to certain current and future events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are and will be subject to many risks and uncertainties relating to our operations and business environment that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Words such as "expects," "will," "plans," "anticipates," "indicates," "believes," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Additionally, forward-looking statements include statements which do not relate solely to historical facts, such as statements which identify uncertainties or trends, discuss the possible future effects of current known trends or uncertainties, or which indicate that the future effects of known trends or uncertainties cannot be predicted, guaranteed or assured. All forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to us on the date of this release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. Our actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to numerous factors including, without limitation, the following: our ability to comply with the terms of our various financing arrangements; the costs and availability of financing; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity; our ability to execute our operational plans; our ability to control our costs, including realizing benefits from our resource optimization efforts, cost reduction initiatives and fleet replacement programs; our ability to utilize our net operating losses; our ability to attract and retain customers; demand for transportation in the markets in which we operate; an outbreak of a disease that affects travel demand or travel behavior; demand for travel and the impact that global economic conditions have on customer travel patterns; excessive taxation and the inability to offset future taxable income; general economic conditions (including interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, investment or credit market conditions, crude oil prices, costs of aviation fuel and energy refining capacity in relevant markets); our ability to cost-effectively hedge against increases in the price of aviation fuel; any potential realized or unrealized gains or losses related to fuel or currency hedging programs; the effects of any hostilities, act of war or terrorist attack; the ability of other air carriers with whom we have alliances or partnerships to provide the services contemplated by the respective arrangements with such carriers; the costs and availability of aviation and other insurance; the costs associated with security measures and practices; industry consolidation or changes in airline alliances; competitive pressures on pricing and on demand; our capacity decisions and the capacity decisions of our competitors; U.S. or foreign governmental legislation, regulation and other actions (including open skies agreements and environmental regulations); labor costs; our ability to maintain satisfactory labor relations and the results of the collective bargaining agreement process with our union groups; any disruptions to operations due to any potential actions by our labor groups; weather conditions; the possibility that expected merger synergies will not be realized or will not be realized within the expected time period; and other risks and uncertainties set forth under Item 1A., Risk Factors of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as other risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in the reports we file with the SEC. Consequently, forward-looking statements should not be regarded as representations or warranties by us that such matters will be realized.