Things are going pretty well for United this year. Full approval for their merger with Continental Airlines went through, they became the first domestic carrier to adopt bio fuel and one of their biggest competitors has gone bankrupt. Their media and public relations departments should get the rest of the year off. In fact, they should buy us dinner.
In addition to all of that good news, rumors around the community are that the airline is eyeballing a new Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft on the market and a behemoth that’s usually only reserved for the major international carriers. Though United flies plenty of routes, the majority of their passengers fly short haul in the United States, and as such a heavy, fuel-guzzling aircraft is hardly worth the investment.
With growing focus in the Asian Pacific region, however, the airline may start investing in larger aircraft to serve that market. While they haven’t made any official announcement to lay public, Aviation Week reports that the COO of airbus claims “that United President and CEO Jeffery Smisek has changed his previously held view that the widebody was inappropriate for U.S. operators and now saw possibilities for the A380 in the new United fleet.”
Perhaps that means that the American carriers are finally willing to step into the long haul game. We sure hope so.