United Airlines seat back
Courtesy: United Airlines
united airlinesThe carrier told CNBC this week that plans to retrofit the cabins of its older narrow-body aircraft are behind schedule due to tight supply chains. Upgrades include a larger premium cabin, seat-back entertainment screens throughout the aircraft, Bluetooth capabilities and other amenities.
The Chicago-based airline previously expected to have 100 of its narrow-body planes fitted with new interiors by the end of the year, but now expects to complete 60 by then, a spokeswoman said.
“The reality is, whether it’s (in-flight entertainment) systems, chips, seats or a lot of other things, the supply challenges across the board are bigger than ever in our business,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s chief commercial officer. It’s been more challenging than ever,” on an earnings call last week.
In June 2021, United unveiled the overhauled cabin after receiving an order for 270 new cabins Boeing And Airbus narrowbodies, as airlines vie for passengers, especially big spenders, in a travel rebound, struggle to refresh their brands.
Manchester United also has explain It expects to sell more premium seats per flight than any other airline in North America by 2026, as travelers vie for hard-to-achieve upgrades and the ranks of elite travelers with big frequent-flyer points swell.
United’s Nocella said last week that the airline will have several production lines remodeling the interiors of narrow-body jets this summer to help speed things up.
The airline expects about a third of its narrow-body fleet, including new planes, to have upgraded interiors by the end of the year.
“It’s only going to take a little longer than we originally expected,” he said. He added that a United Airbus A319 had recently been refitted and should be flying soon.
The airline’s goal is to complete the narrowbody upgrade by 2025, but it’s unclear whether United will meet that goal.
Separately, United said that by August, all of its wide-body aircraft will be equipped with premium economy seats and Polaris seats, the airline’s top class of seating on international and other long-haul flights.
other airlines like JetBlue Airways and delta airlines Airlines have also added amenities on planes in recent years, upgrading top-class cabins, installing new seats and adding services, including free Wi-Fi.
Delta executives have said revenue growth from premium seats, such as business class or premium economy, has outpaced sales in standard economy.
“We’re seeing a lot of stickiness in those products,” Delta Air Lines President Glen Hauenstein said on the company’s quarterly conference call earlier this month. “So once you start flying in those cabins, you tend not to go back.”