A tweet allegedly reveals how United will configure its new A350 aircraft.
Via @A350_Production on Twitter, United’s A350-1000 (on order) will be delivered with the following configuration:
- 60 United Polaris (Business) [18%]
- 91 United EconomyPlus [27%]
- 186 United Economy [55%]
- 337 total seats
In brackets I have indicated what percentage of overall aircraft seats each cabin contains. By the way, that number suggests a 3-3-3 configuration in economy class.
Seat map of @united A350s:
-60 Business (Polaris)
-91 Premium Economy
Total: 337 seats
Seat suppliers: Zodiac&B/E Aerospace pic.twitter.com/sUm9X7ijtt
— A350 Production (@A350_Production) April 30, 2017
Let’s compare that to United’s 787-9 and new 777-300ER:
- 48 United Polaris (Business) [19%]
- 88 United EconomyPlus [35%]
- 116 United Economy [46%]
- 252 total seats
- 60 United Polaris (Business) [16%]
- 102 United EconomyPlus [28%]
- 204 United Economy [56%]
- 366 total seats
Thus, the alleged A350 distribution is logical. I reached out to United for official confirmation and not surprisingly, have not heard back.
Will United Even Take Its A350 Delivery?
While the seat map may be confirmed, the A350-1000 order itself is still under consideration at United. While not necessarily on the chopping block, both Andrew Levy (CFO) and Scott Kirby (President) have expressed frustration that the aircraft unable to fill the “middle-of-the-market” (MoM) void that would be best captured as a hybrid between the 757 and 767.
Some predict that United will end up cancelling its A350-1000 order and waiting for a potential 797 aircraft from Boeing. I highly doubt that will happen, as that next-gen Boeing aircraft is still in development and conservatively 5-7 years from delivery.
It will be interesting to see how United’s fleet plan shapes up in the months ahead. Earlier today I wrote about United keeping its pre-merger 757-200s beyond the planned retirement date. Might the same be true for the 747-400 fleet? The weeks ahead will be interesting as United attempts to construct a cohesive fleet plan that will maximize sustainable growth.