United details premium-heavy 767 fleet plans

Aviation

United Airlines plans to operate 17 Boeing 767-300ERs in its new configuration with 16 additional business class seats.

The Chicago-based carrier will reconfigure 14 767s that currently have 30 business class seats in a two-one-two configuration, and configure three aircraft it purchased from Hawaiian Airlines in the premium-seat heavy layout, it says in a recently released aircraft update for flight attendants viewed by FlightGlobal.

The new 767-300ERs, dubbed the “76L”, will have 46 Polaris business class seats, 22 premium economy seats, 47 extra-legroom economy seats and 52 economy seats for a total of 167 passengers, the update shows.

United’s 76L configuration

United

United will initially fly the new 767 configuration on flights between Newark and London Heathrow, it has said. Future routes will include “business-to-business markets”, chief executive Oscar Munoz told Skift in January.

When the new configuration enters service is unclear. On 6 February, the airline said the introduction would occur in the “coming weeks”, but FlightGlobal understands that the first aircraft continues to undergo retrofit work.

United is expanding premium cabins as other airlines shrink them. In addition to the 76L plans, the carrier will introduce its first Bombardier CRJ550s – CRJ700s re-certified and re-configured for 50 seats – with 10 first class seats this summer, and it is adding four first class seats to both its Airbus A319s and A320s.

American Airlines, on the other hand, has shrunk the business class cabin on its Boeing 787-8s, and Delta Air Lines will offer fewer business class seats on its new Airbus A330-900neos compared to its current fleet of A330-300s.

United operates 38 767-300ERs, including the former Hawaiian aircraft, Cirium Fleets Analyzer shows.