Half of United's Wide-Body Fleet to Offer Polaris by the End of 2019
So how's United's Polaris rollout coming along? Heh... we're getting there. Slowly.
More than three years have now passed since United CEO Oscar Munoz unveiled the carrier's much-improved business-class product. This week, Patrick Quayle, UA's Vice President of International Network, confirmed that the carrier is on track to hit a major milestone by the end of 2019.
Come December, United expects to offer the new Polaris seats on half of its wide-body fleet — some 100 planes in total, including new additions, like the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, and retrofitted aircraft, such as the "high-J" 767-300ER.
The first retrofitted 787-8 Dreamliner is expected to return to service in December as well. The first 787-9 with the new seats — the longer-range version used for some of United's most premium routes, like San Francisco (SFO)-Singapore (SIN) and Newark (EWR)-Cape Town (CPT) — will follow a few months later.
Quayle pointed out that roughly one-third of United's existing fleet has now gone through the retrofit process — new deliveries make up the remaining aircraft. Eventually, most of United's roughly 200 wide-body planes will offer the new seats, though some 777-200s, used for domestic and regional flights, are expected to continue operating with the carrier's dated 2-4-2 product — not-so-affectionately referred to as "dorm-style" business class by frequent flyers.