United Airlines has received its first Boeing 737-900ER with slimline seats, allowing it to add up to 12 seats to the type.
The new 179-seat configuration includes new Priestmangoode-designed blue economy seats that will grace the economy cabins of roughly 500 narrowbody aircraft in the Chicago-based carrier’s fleet by the end of 2015.
United says that the new higher density configuration will allow it to better match “capacity to customer demand”, in an employee newsletter on 21 January. It also allows it to more closely match the capacity of its 182-seat Boeing 757-200s, which the 737-900ERs are replacing.
The airline’s existing fleet of 737-900ERs have between 167 and 173 seats.
All future 737 and Embraer 175 deliveries will have the new slimline seats and reconfigurations of United’s existing fleet of 737-800s and 737-900ERs will begin in the third quarter, the airline says.
United is also adding up to 12 seats to its Airbus A320 and A319 fleet, a programme that began in 2012. It has completed installations of Recaro slimline seats on 44 Airbus aircraft, it says.