Skift Take

Is the plan a part of United's broader strategy of moving its headquarter operations from Chicago to Denver? Let's wait and watch.

United Airlines on Friday said it is spending $33 million to buy 113 acres (46 hectares) in Denver as part of its growth strategy.

The Chicago-based U.S. airline said it plans to use “part of this land as the site for the expansion of our world-class Denver pilot training facility.”

Asked if United could use the land to move its corporate headquarters, a United spokeswoman said, “The land in Denver gives us options for the future as we implement our big plans to grow.”

United is acquiring two parcels, including one just outside Denver International Airport with access to its Flight Training Center.

United added that it has “been in Chicago for decades and have thousands of employees here” and that the airline has an immediate need to expand its Flight Training Center.

“Beyond that, it’s prudent for any large company to take advantage of opportunities to buy land in its key cities when the opportunity arises – so we didn’t want to miss this opportunity in Denver,” the airline said.

In June 2022, United broke ground on a new four-story building at the flight training facility. The airline says it is the Denver area’s largest employer, with about 10,000 employees and 400-plus daily flights from Denver, the most of any airline.

If United moved out of Chicago, it would be a blow to Illinois, which has lost other major corporate headquarters, including Boeing, which in May 2022 announced it was moving its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia.

Also last year, Caterpillar moved its global headquarters to a Dallas suburb from the construction equipment maker’s century-long home in Deerfield, Illinois, a Chicago suburb.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Mark Porter and Jonathan Oatis)

This article was written by David Shepardson and Rajesh Kumar Singh from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].


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Tags: chicago, denver, pilot training, united airlines

Photo credit: United is acquiring two parcels, including one just outside Denver International Airport. DirkDanielMann / Pixabay

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