Boeing Commercial Airplanes will supply nine new 787 Dreamliner jets to United Airlines, which is expanding its fleet of long-range aircraft for intercontinental routes. The estimated $2.5-billion order involves the 787-9 version of the Dreamliner, which Boeing noted can cover up to 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 km), with 290 passengers in a standard configuration. Deliveries are seen starting in 2020.
United already has ordered a total of 64 Dreamliners, having announced a purchase of four 787-9s in July.
According to the carrier, the new Dreamliner order is in line with its strategy of replacing older wide-body jets with more modern aircraft.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a twin-engine, wide-body aircraft. developed by Boeing to achieve greater fuel-efficiency for long-range service. The airframe is comprised mainly of composite materials and the design includes numerous details to improve its energy efficiency. According to the OEM, the 787 is 20% more fuel-efficient than the 767 series it replaced.
The Dreamliner series is available in three models: 787-8, 186 ft. long and capable of carrying 242 passengers up to 7,355 nautical miles (13,621 km); the 787-9, which has a fuselage that is 20 feet longer than the 787-8; and the 787-10, which is 224 ft. long and carries up to 330 passengers for a range of 6,430 nautical miles (11,910 km.)
The 787 Dreamliner had its commercial debut in 2011, and United began flying both 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft in 2012.
As noted by Boeing, United will take delivery of its first 787-10 later this year.
The OEM has recorded more than 100 orders for new 787 aircraft this year, and a total of 1,399 of the wide-bodies since the launch of the program.
"The 787 Dreamliner has been so successful in the marketplace because of great partners like United Airlines that have taken the airplane's unrivaled performance to open new routes and offer passengers a wonderful travel experience," stated Ihssane Mounir, Boeing SVP for Commercial Sales & Marketing.