Having entered service with Germany’s leisure airline Condor 22 years ago in 1999, the B757-300 is still going strong, including with United Airlines. At 19.9 years, United’s B757-300s are a third older than its fleet’s average from so many new aircraft being delivered.
United has 21 B757-300s, both operational and inactive, all inherited from Continental. It has more than Delta, Condor, Icelandair, and Azur Air Ukraine. In all, the five airlines have 55 B757-300s, precisely the same number that was built.
All of United’s B757-300s have 234 seats, with 24 in first, 54 in economy plus, and 156 in economy. Photo: Walter Edgar via Flickr.
When writing, 16 of United’s 21 B757-300s are active. The others are in maintenance and one, 19.9-year-old N57869, is stored. Flightradar24 shows that it last flew from Orlando to Roswell nearly two years ago on August 2nd, 2020.
The middle-of-the-market B757-300 is famed for its high capacity and low unit cost. While it means it has a 7% higher maximum takeoff weight than the smaller B757-200, it offsets this with 19% higher maximum payload.
When writing, it is 04:11 in the central time zone. Not surprisingly, only one United B757-300 is airborne. Having left Los Angeles at 23:36 local, N73860 is making its way to Washington Dulles. Image: Flightradar24.
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Just 0.8% of United’s July flights
It is a pretty economic machine. United’s reconfiguration of the type in 2018 to increase the number of seats to 234 enabled it to become even more competitive, reducing cost per seat mile while increasing revenue capability per flight. It is no surprise that United’s B757-300s are mainly used on pretty high-density routes, now predominantly hub-to-hub but some leisure-focused.
Analyzing United’s whole July schedule using OAG data shows that the high-capacity narrowbody has just 0.8% of the carrier’s total flights. It has 1,037 of the 129,143 planned. That isn’t much, but it’s more than the B767-400ER, B787-8, and B787-10. That’s partly because it has fewer examples of these aircraft and partly because the B757 variant is, of course, deployed on much shorter routes.
United’s B757-300 route network in July 2022 with 1x daily or more flights. Image: GCMap.
Used to a handful of airports
Some 15 airports will see the B757-300 in July, all domestic. Importantly, not all are on scheduled, bookable services. The 15 includes seven airports – Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston Intercontinental, Kansas City, Long Beach, Miami, and San Diego – that will see it only once or twice across the month. If these exceptions – which seem to be charter flights – are stripped out, the B757-300’s airport list is minuscule.
In terms of normal operations, nearly three in every ten flights are at Chicago O’Hare, the hub to see it by far the most. When San Francisco, Denver, and Los Angeles are included, these four have over eight in every ten B757-300 services. It isn’t used to Newark.
Only a handful of routes see the B757-300 1x daily or more. Number one is San Francisco to O’Hare, with up to 5x daily flights by the variant. On July 8th, for example, the variant will leave California for Illinois at 05:33, 08:30, 10:46, 18:55, and 23:59. On that day, it’ll have half of United’s flights, joined by the B737-900 and B777-200.
Have you flown the B757-300? If so, where and with which airline? Let us know in the comments.