Fuel efficiency and emissions reduction

in Our environment

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. Since then, we have made a number of strategic operational changes to help us become a leader in the reduction of carbon emissions.

We currently have more than 200 new aircraft on order and in 2018 and 2019, we invested more than $2 billion per year in new aircraft. These investments have helped us improve our fuel efficiency by 47 percent from 1990 to 2018.

In 2018, United became the first North American airline to take delivery of the 787-10 Dreamliner, and is the first airline in the world to have the entire family of 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliners in its fleet. Eighteen feet longer than the 787-9, the 787-10 can carry more passengers and more cargo than its predecessors. Flying up to 6,430 nautical miles, the 787-10 uses 20 percent less fuel than older generation airplanes, making it superior when it comes to fuel efficiency.

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 4,300 of our Ground Support Equipment (GSE) are now powered by electricity rather than conventional fuel. And by the end of 2018, 39 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

United Airlines Becomes First North American Airline to Welcome the Boeing 787-10 to its Fleet (November 5, 2018)