That Oldest Airplane Still Active Flying on United Airlines
United Airlines operates both widebody and narrowbody aircraft. The airline is a member of the Star Alliance, which allows it access to the newest Boeing 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliners for travel. Today, we’ll be looking at its fleet of older aircraft with this list.
The Boeing 767-300 fleetUnited Airlines has an older fleet of Boeing 767-300ERs. These widebody twinjets arrived at the airline in the early 90s, with the newest of these being 32 years old. There are about 20 aircraft in this batch, with the oldest being N641UA, and every single one of them was delivered without winglets. But 25 years later, all of them were retrofitted with winglets mostly from 2016 to 2017. All 20 aircraft are powered by pairs of Pratt & Whitney PW4000 series powerplants. United 767s have a number of configuration options. They can be configured differently than just having one economy class zone and one business class zone, like the United 757. They can also have larger zones of 60 mainly in business seat or 95 total seats. These planes are typically on routes flown from American airports like Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Boston, and Chicago O’Hare to European cities like London Heathrow, Zurich, and Geneva. Given the reputation for business these European destinations have, it’s easy to see why United would opt for that setup.
United Airlines’ oldest aircraft: the Airbus A320-200United Airlines is probably one of the busiest carriers in the industry. Regardless, some of their aircraft have incredibly interesting stories. The oldest A320s that were delivered to United actually come from Airbus rather than Boeing. In 2005, a few of these older aircraft left the mainline United fleet for Ted airlines – a budget subsidiary that ceased operations in 2009. The jets returned to flying with United’s mainline fleet and continue do so to this day! The A320 is the most popular twin-engine aircraft worldwide. It’s operated by United on domestic flights in and out of hubs like Houston, Denver, Chicago and more. But at least in the case of N401UA, there are also services that take passengers to cities like Los Cabos and Mexico City. The 767 airplanes that have been flying since the year 2016 are carrying inside cabin refurbishments made in 2017 and 2018. Given the focus on wide-body aircraft, United Airlines is going to have a hard time finding airplanes that can replace the 767s. The airline is considering over 100 wide-body aircraft in total, all of them from Airbus or Boeing, and their decision is expected to be made near the end of this year. Meanwhile, the 777X could be an option as well; though United may not be in a huge rush for modernization.