Fleet-Wide Upgrades To Cabins Includes Flat-Bed Seats, Onboard
United Continental Holdings today says it plans to invest more
than a half-billion dollars in its onboard product. The company
said in a news release that these and other planned product changes
come in addition to the 25 new aircraft – including the
Boeing 787 Dreamliner – that the airline will introduce to
its fleet next year. United and Continental have each made
significant product and service improvements over the past several
years and since the airlines closed their merger Oct. 1, 2010.
The plans include the installation of flat-bed seating on 62
additional long-haul aircraft, bringing total aircraft with
flat-bed seats to 185; adding Economy Plus seating and Channel 9
air traffic control audio to more than 300 aircraft; nearly
doubling the overhead storage space on more than 150 aircraft;
installing advanced broadband Wi-Fi on more than 200 aircraft;
introducing streaming wireless video onboard its 747-400 aircraft;
completely retrofitting its p.s. fleet with flat-bed seats, Economy
Plus, on-demand audio and video and Wi-Fi.
"We are making very good progress building the world's leading
airline," said Jeff Smisek, president and chief executive officer
of United Continental Holdings, Inc. "When we announced our merger,
we committed to building an airline that our co-workers would want
to work for, our customers would want to fly, and our investors
would want to invest in. These product enhancements announced
today, coupled with our unbeatable route network and loyalty
program, will provide an unsurpassed travel experience for our
customers. We are planning many other product enhancements, both on
the ground and in the air, which we will announce in the
In September, United will begin installing all-new flat-bed
seats, on-demand audio and video programming and iPod connectivity
in the premium cabins on 26 Boeing 767s – 12 Continental
767-400 aircraft and 14 United 767-300 aircraft. The company will
also upgrade 767-400s with extra-legroom Economy Plus seating and
the Channel 9 air traffic control audio channel, which all United
aircraft have today. The 26 aircraft, which primarily serve
trans-Atlantic, Latin and Hawaiian markets, will offer
BusinessFirst and Economy cabins.
Ongoing upgrades to First, Business and Economy class on the
airline's three-cabin Boeing 777 aircraft will continue, with 17 of
46 aircraft currently offering flat-bed seats and advanced
in-flight entertainment in First and Business and on-demand video
in Economy. United will retrofit more than a dozen additional 777
aircraft this year.
United will begin installing Economy Plus seating on all
Continental mainline aircraft this fall, and beginning in March
2012, the airline will nearly double the size of the overhead bins
on all 152 of its Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft.
United is also planning a complete nose-to-tail renovation of
its popular p.s. fleet, which serves the New York Kennedy to San
Francisco and Los Angeles markets. When completed in 2013, p.s.
aircraft will offer flat-bed seats, Economy Plus, power ports at
every row, on-demand audio and video and Wi-Fi service.