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United Airlines says using larger jets on 737 MAX routes is 'costing money'

United Airlines’ use of larger aircraft on routes previously flown by Boeing Co’s grounded 737 MAX jets is costing the carrier money in the short-term, the company’s President Scott Kirby said in a letter to employees on Tuesday. Chicago-based United, which owns 14 MAX jets and has dozens more on order, has been using its larger 777 or 787 aircraft to cover routes formerly flown by the suspended MAX planes, without being able to fill the extra last-minute seats. “Of course, we can’t keep this up… ( More...

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Ron Jones 11
As long as the "larger jets" don't kill everyone, they are saving/generating revenue... and protecting the airline's reputation!
s2v8377 9
I give United credit for using the their 777s and 787s to cover flights instead of canceling them. I'm surprised American hasn't done more of this.
That would mean customer service a real no no in Doug Parkers book. Only Frontier left to move ahead of them in the ratings
charlie lange 13
Paying for a crashed MAX would be more.
jhakunti 4
So what UAL sue Boeing. Wait a minute, you once were Boeing.
sstuff 5
United’s replacement planes are going out “ . . . without being able to fill the extra last-minute seats.”

Does that mean involuntary and voluntary denied boardings are a thing of the past? Somehow I just can’t bring myself to feel sorry for United.
James Steiner 3
Must be a Non-Rev's dream come true!
s2v8377 0
Really on bring involuntary bumping into this??? All airlines who operate 737 MAX aircraft are loosing money. This story is covering UA. Would you feel bad for AA if the story was about them?
mbrews 2
- So many opinions, so few facts. First, understand what were the planned UAL routes for their fleet of 737 MAX 9s BEFORE they became grounded. Planned MAX Routes were in two basic categories: A) West Coast cities to Hawaii. (SFO & LAX) and B) Houston IAH to Central America / Latin America. To operate these routes, UAL requires ETOPS rated aircraft with enough seats to accommodate the booked SLF. Thus, they trot out spare 777/787 for the operations & fly with lots of empty seats. Since I travel UAL from Newark, I would have preferred UAL to shift some aging 757-767 from EWR duty to cover the missing MAXes, & deploy 787 for the EWR to Europe routes operated with tattered 767s
Lower your prices a tad and improve your service. You would probably fill the larger plane up. DUH
StephenSprunk 2
Why are they not "able to fill the extra last-minute seats"? Sure, on the first few days, there wasn't enough notice, but they quickly knew they'd be using larger jets for months and could easily add ticketed passengers to the extra seats. It doesn't even matter what they charge; they're paying to fly the bigger jets anyway, so the extra tickets sold would be 100% profit. Even at normal fares, they'd have no trouble picking up all the passengers holding canceled AAL and SWA tickets.
Chuck Lavazzi 1
In most businesses, excess inventory is usually a reason for a sale. Have they considered that (he asked sarcastically)?
Good for you Mike Wyss. They may be less fuel efficient, but my wife and I like the 767 because of its 232. Much better than the mile long 757 whic is basically the same aircraft. Air Canada shuttles 767 from Momtreal, Toronto, to Fort Lauderdale and it works.
SkyAware123 1
Sue the f*ck out of Boeing.
What about 767s--United has tons of those & they are 2-3-2 so more pax friendly that 3-3-3 IMHO!!
bigkahuna400 0
Why the heck are they using 777/787 to fly the 737 Max flights? Are they stupid or what? Cant use other 737's or smaller planes? What a waste of $. No wonder they are broke.
Ben Deneweth 6
Those are the fleets that have slack. The 737NG and Airbus fleets don't have enough slack to cover the 9MAX flying.

Also, many of the 9MAX flights are ETOPS, meaning that the Airbuses can't cover them.
s2v8377 4
777s and 787s have far more dwell/turn around time between flights on the ground than the 757s and other ETOPS 737s. It is much easier to use them as subs with a much smaller impact to the overall operation.

United may also be using 777s and 787s to cover 767s doing 757 flying so the 757s can do the MAX flying.

That being said I'm UA is also flying their other 737s more aggressively to cover MAX schedules too.
sharon bias 0
I'm sure United does use some smaller aircraft as replacements for 737. They can analyze load factors. Since Southwest and American are cancelling hundreds of flights a day, United is in a position to pick-up their loss with the larger planes. Don't know why American hasn't brought back some of their MD80's. They only stopped using them last year.
scott8733 0 least it's a short 10min walk down Wacker Drive for the UAL lawyers to deliver the loss of revenue lawsuit summons to Boeing's offices. They'll get their steps in for the day.
Peter Berner -1
awww poor United. Breaks my heart
Arthur Shulman -2
Is American Airlines still grounding their 737 MAX ? Have they continued to cancel almost 100 flights a day? We are flying on Tuesday and are getting nervous.
john kilcher 6
Well, doncha' think that you might call the airlines and rid yourself of the nerviousness?


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