04 June 2009

Sarah, here's your new plane!

A Facebook friend in the aviation industry shared the following article:

Chicago Tribune

Sarah's bosses have not ordered a single new plane since 2002. But it appears that as the fleet ages (I was very unhappy with the 767, even more so with the renovation), new planes will be necessary. And as the aviation industry slumps, and existing aircraft orders are cancelled by other airlines, United may get a chance to put in a large order of new planes, on favorable terms.

Aircraft models under consideration, supposedly, are the Boeing 787, the Boeing 777-300 ER, the Airbus A350, and an improved Airbus A330. They will replace the current fleet of Boeing 767s, Boeing 747s, and early-model Boeing 777s. Even the 757s are due for replacement, and possible replacements are a smaller-scale Boeing 787 (under development) or the re-introduction of the Boeing 737.

Anything that lets Sarah more efficiently serve her passengers, in more comfort, is good news to me. The new planes will also keep the passengers less disgruntled and more content, and that means fewer complaints or air rage incidents for Sarah to deal with. Most importantly, United will be back on level footing against the Asian airlines that have recently acquired state-of-the-art aircraft, and that means there will indeed be more paying customers to pay Sarah's salary and other expenses.

The order should be firm later this year, but it should still take several more years for the new planes to actually enter service. I do hope the industry will be in good enough of a shape, and that Sarah will continue to hold her job as the best purser that United Airlines has ever had. I do know that she'll still be well under 40 by the time she starts working the first of the new planes - still very young (and pretty) by international United purser standards!

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