DALLAS — United Airlines (UA) has placed an order for 100 Boeing 787 aircraft, with the option to buy an additional 100. The deal represents Boeing’s largest-ever order for the 787 Dreamliner.
The airline’s widebody replacement program is to be supported in large part by this Dreamliner order. Its long-standing Airbus A350 order is still in place for the time being.
The Dreamliner order makes sense. The airline has 64 Boeing 787 widebodies in service averaging 5.5 years. According to UA’s CEO, Scott Kirby, adding a new fleet type would lengthen the new pilot training program at the airline.
The Boeing 787 is comparable in size to the 767 twin-jet widebody, which is another reason Kirby said he came to the conclusion that it was a better replacement. The CEO hinted at the A350 as a replacement for the Boeing 777, but that is closer to 2030, according to the CEO. UA has 92 Boeing 777 aircraft in service, averaging 19.3 Years.
Dreamliner deliveries are anticipated to start in 2024 and last until 2032. The Chicago-based carrier says it can select from the Boeing 787-8, 787-9, and 787-10 variants.
Additionally, Boeing announced that UA is also purchasing 100 737 MAX jets, exercising 44 existing options, and placing 56 new orders. The airline has 27 Boeing 737-8 averaging 1.3 years and 42 737-9 in service averaging 2.7 years. You can see the airline’s complete fleet here.
By the end of 2032, UA anticipates taking delivery of about 700 new narrow and widebody aircraft.
Comments from United Airlines, Boeing
“United emerged from the pandemic as the world’s leading global airline and the flag carrier of the United States,” said United CEO Scott Kirby.
“This order further solidifies our lead and creates new opportunities for our customers, employees, and shareholders by accelerating our plan to connect more people to more places around the globe and deliver the best experience in the sky.”
The airline’s current orders for Boeing jets have surpassed 530, including more than 430 737 MAX airplanes.
“With this investment in its future fleet, the 737 MAX and 787 will help United accelerate its fleet modernization and global growth strategy,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“The Boeing team is honored by United’s trust in our family of airplanes to connect people and transport cargo around the world for decades to come.”
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Featured image: Boeing