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Fri, Feb 24, 2023

United Airlines Expands Denver Facilities

Flight Training Center Readies for 787 Influx

United Airlines (UAL), the legacy U.S. air-carrier headquartered in Chicago’s iconic Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, is about the endeavor of hiring a multitude of new Denver-based employees to staff planned expansions of the airline’s DEN hub and its Flight-Training Center in Denver’s Central Park neighborhood.

The undertaking will see new, technologically-advanced Boeing 787 simulators added to the sprawling flight-training facility along with instructors and technical staff to support the training of United Airlines pilots.

In December 2022, United placed a massive order for at least two-hundred Boeing aircraft comprising a relatively even split of 737 MAX narrow-body and 787 Dreamliner wide-body jets. The order, the largest in United’s 91-year history, connotes a crucial vote of confidence in Boeing, which has suffered tens-of-billions of dollars in financial losses resultant of highly publicized and politicized problems with its 737 MAX and 787 programs.

In 2019, following two fatal crashes of the type, the FAA grounded the 737 MAX, thereby setting in motion a twenty-month chaos of halted deliveries and Congressional theatrics. The 787, too, incurred FAA scrutiny. Though not grounded outright, the discovery of quality control issues—primarily at Boeing’s South Carolina Dreamliner assembly facility—compelled the agency to halt 787 deliveries for approximately one-year.

The correction of design and manufacturing shortfalls and resumed deliveries of both 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner family aircraft have occasioned immense orders for both aircraft types from carriers such as United Airlines, and Air India—the latter having recently announced its purchase of some two-hundred Boeing jets.

United Airlines managing director of flight-training George Gamaldi stated: "What that means for us is that between now and the end of the decade we will take delivery of a new airplane every three days. And that is a mix of Boeing 737s, Boeing 787s and Airbus A-321s.”

The first of UAL’s new 787 simulators, including delivery and installation, came with a cool $25-million price-tag.

United Airlines—by dint of expansions to its Flight Training Center and additional upgrades to its Denver International Airport (DEN) hub—has earned the distinction of being Denver’s largest private employer.

Mr. Gamaldi added: "United Airlines is the largest private employer in Denver with over 8,400 Denver employees, and we are only getting bigger. In 2022 alone we hired more than four-hundred new employees that are based right here at the Flight Training Center."

FMI: www.united.com

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