United has committed to being better than our peers in gross carbon emissions.
In 2017, United added a crucial environmental element to our Global Performance Commitment that challenges us to have a lower gross carbon footprint than our industry peers. Carbon footprint management and fuel efficiency improvement are critical to operating an environmentally sustainable airline in the air, on the ground and at our facilities. To become the best, we have made a number of strategic operational changes.
One significant move was retiring the Boeing 747 from our fleet in favor of newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft. As an example, our new Boeing 737 MAX 9 features Boeing's Advanced Technology winglets and fuel-efficient CFM LEAP engines, which provide the ability to fly farther on less fuel. We currently have more than 200 new aircraft on order and we invest more than $2 billion per year in new aircraft. These investments have helped us improve our fuel efficiency by 45 percent since 1990.
We have also worked with Air Traffic Control and ground crews to discover and operationalize innovative ways to get aircraft to the runway, into the air and to the gate more efficiently, further reducing carbon emissions. More than 3,400 pieces of our Ground Support Equipment (GSE) are now powered by electricity rather than conventional fuel. And by the end of 2017, 38 percent of United’s eligible GSE fleet had been electrified.
As you can see, we are looking at every aspect of our operation in order to uncover new ways that will further our efforts at fuel efficiency and carbon emissions reduction. And this is only the start.
Learn more about fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.
Recent stories about fuel efficiency and emissions reduction
Introducing the Boeing 737 Max 10 (July 28, 2017)
Mahalo, 747: United Airlines Announces Final Boeing 747 Flight (September 18, 2017)
United Airlines Takes Delivery of the Fuel Efficient 737 MAX 9 (April 23, 2018)
MAXimum comfort and efficiency: Our first 737 MAX 9 takes flight (June 08, 2018)