SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — United Airlines announced Tuesday it plans to purchase 270 new Boeing and Airbus aircraft, an expansion of its fleet that could add up to 4,000 new jobs at San Francisco International Airport over the next 5 years.
The announcement came as the air travel industry was bullishly recovering from more than a year of declines during the COVID-19 pandemic.READ MORE: PG&E to Face Criminal Charges Over Deadly Zogg Fire in Shasta County
At the height of the outbreak, San Francisco International was nearly a ghost town as flights were cancelled, workers furloughed or laid off and gates stood empty.
“Our United Next vision will revolutionize the experience of flying United as we accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel,” said United CEO Scott Kirby.READ MORE: U.S. Men’s Soccer Asks Appeals Court to Reinstate Women's Wage Suit
“This move underscores the critical role United plays in fueling the broader U.S. economy – we expect the addition of these new aircraft will have a significant economic impact on the communities we serve in terms of job creation, traveler spending and commerce.”
In addition to the purchase of 200 Boeing 737 MAX and 70 Airbus 321, the airline plans to also retrofit its mainline, narrow-body fleet to transform the customer experience and create a new signature interior.
Airline officials said the addition of the planes and flights will lead to up to 4,000 new jobs in the Bay Area over the next five years. Those jobs will include ramp team members, customer service agents, dispatchers, pilots, flight attendants and technicians.MORE NEWS: Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash In Hayward Temporarily Shuts Southbound I-880 Lanes At Highway 92
“San Francisco has always been a crown jewel for United,” said Lori Augustine, vice president of Airport Operations at United’s SFO hub. “This new aircraft order has the potential to supercharge … growth and underpins our commitment to this hub. ”