Airplane makers could see big business soon

United Airlines will be seeking bids from airplane makers Boeing and Airbus for a significant jet order that could be placed as soon as this fall.

United’s widebody fleet and several of its Boeing 757s are rapidly aging, requiring the nation’s third-largest airline to seek replacements.

According to the company, United has had discussions with Boeing and Airbus over several years, but decided to hold off on new planes “until we believe we can generate a return on our investment.”

For an aerospace industry clamoring for new business, this is much-needed good news.

Boeing recently announced that it only had 20 new orders in May, down from 67 in May 2008. It said it expects to make deliveries scheduled for this year, but some customers have requested deferrals starting in 2010 and continuing into 2011.

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