Thank you for choosing to fly with United. As I reflect on the last few years, I remember a day during the pandemic in April 2020 when we had fewer than 10,000 customers flying—which is a far cry from the 400,000 customers we welcome on a typical day. Our airplanes and airports were starkly empty. The memories of those early days of the pandemic renew our sense of genuine appreciation for your business.
Even during those difficult days, we never doubted that demand for air travel would return. That’s why, when our competitors were still in crisis response mode, United was busy planning for the future. For example, we opened a new pilot training academy. We’re the only
major U.S. airline that operates one, and it ensures that we can recruit talented, highly motivated students and train them to our world-class standards. It will help United have an ample supply of skilled pilots as we plan for future growth. In fact, we plan to hire at least 10,000 pilots at United by 2030.
For our flight attendants, we opened a new, state-of-the-art, 56,000-square-foot inflight training facility in Houston. The facility includes a complete mock fuselage for functional, full-cabin training in safety and customer service. This facility enables us to train the 4,000-plus new flight attendants we plan to hire each year over the next several years.
For future potential aircraft technicians, we just launched our Calibrate program, where apprentices can get paid to learn through hands-on experience on state-of-the-art aircraft to become licensed technicians. As this program expands, it will provide life-changing career opportunities for hundreds of young people each year in communities across the country. As part of our United Next growth plan, we expect to hire 7,000 maintenance team members over the next few years.
Our investments have continued in our airports as well. We opened more than 20 new gates in Denver, as well as 11 additional preferential-use gates in Newark’s new Terminal A (with six more to come soon). We built a world-class baggage storage and sorting system at IAH in Houston. Finally, since the pandemic, with our club expansion program we have added more seats in United Clubs at our hubs.
In addition to investing in our employees and our infrastructure, we are modernizing our fleet and revolutionizing the flying experience for our customers. This past December, we announced our agreement to purchase up to 200 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft over the next several years—the largest widebody aircraft order ever made by a commercial airline.
When combined with the historic aircraft purchase we announced in 2021, United expects to take delivery of about 700 new narrow and widebody aircraft by the end of 2032, including an average of more than two every week in 2023 and more than three every week in 2024.
Additionally, over the next three years, we are updating our entire existing narrowbody fleet with seatback entertainment in every seat, 1:1 customer-to-bag bins, LED lighting, as well as new and improved Wi-Fi. These investments will be transformative for our customers, and we can’t wait for you to see them firsthand.
While you’re flying with us, I hope you get a sense of the excitement we have for United’s future. This is truly the story of an airline where Good Leads the Way. Thank you again for choosing to fly with United.
Chief Operations Officer