United Airlines CEO: We Will Be Largest Airline In The World By Summer 2022

Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, isn't minced words. United hopes to become the world's biggest airline next summer while it waits for its 777 jets to return and continues to receive new jets.
United Airlines Will Be the World's Largest Airlines By Summer 2022

Kirby, in a video message to his employees that was reviewed by Live and let's Fly, recounts his week at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland. He also notes:

United Airlines was the only major carrier invited

He dined at U.S. He dined with U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and met with other world leaders during this week

United Airlines is widely praised for its climate-friendly initiatives. These include carbon sequestration and electric aircraft. Sustainable aviation fuel

Polaris class is loved by all and "dozens" of passengers rave about it.

It gets even more interesting when Kirby speaks about growth. Kirby compares United's disciplined growth with American Airlines' reckless growth, which has resulted in poor operational performance. Kirby suggests that United will soon experience more rapid growth, making it the largest airline worldwide.

"What we are doing over the next few years will really cement our position as the top global airline. No one else can catch up to us." We made the right decisions and made the difficult decisions during COVID. But we have set ourselves up to be the most important global airline. And we are doing it responsibly, and have avoided the problems and meltdowns at other airlines. We are responsible growing that schedule back. You'll see us go from having a shorter schedule during COVID to one with more demand in December and January. Once we get the 777s back we're going back to 100%. This is well above where we were in 2019. "I think it will be a gangbuster by the time we reach next summer. We'll be the biggest airline in the world for all of our business travel, although it won't be over yet. We're also going to be the largest airline in the entire world.

He doesn't know what the largest and most important are. But he is a politician, too. There are many ways to measure the size of an airline:

Revenue passenger miles (RSM), the sum of all distances travelled by passengers during the year, is the revenue passenger mile.

Amount of available seat miles (ASM), a measure that shows an airplane's total carrying capability. This is used to calculate income.

Size of the fleet

Revenue from companies

Routes available

What metrics will make United the largest or most successful? I reached out to United for comments.


Kirby says that "we've given ourselves a chance to be, non just the largest, but also the best airline in all of the world." However, as American Airlines fails and Delta Air Lines appears to be more cautious, Kirby's words do not only serve to employees but reflect United's current trajectory.

Image by Scott Kirby/Insta