Boeing Commercial Airplanes has landed a significant order for 200 new aircraft from United Airlines – 100 narrow-body 737 MAX and 100 wide-body 787 Dreamliners – in a deal estimated at up to $37 billion according to the book value of the aircraft. Neither Boeing nor the airline confirmed the value of the deal, which represents a comprehensive fleet replacement effort by United and a decisive commitment to Boeing aircraft over its primary rival, Airbus.
Currently, United has orders in place for 530 Boeing aircraft, including over 430 737 MAX jets.
According to Boeing, the new order covers 100 787 airplanes plus options to purchase 100 more, the largest order in the roughly 20-year history of the 787 series.
The order for 100 737 MAX jets involves United exercising 44 existing options and placing 56 new orders.
According to United Airlines 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 787 deliveries are likely to begin in 2024 and continue through 2032. United is replacing its entire fleet of wide-body Boeing 767 aircraft and some of its long-range 777 jets with the new Dreamliners.
The new order apparently means that United’s outstanding order for 45 Airbus A350 wide-body jets will remain delayed.
In comments published by Reuters, Kirby said United’s choice of Boeing over Airbus is shaped by a need for consistency across its fleet as it installs new crews presently, and in the years ahead. Also, airlines typically view aircraft commonality as contributing to maintenance-cost savings, too.
"With this investment in its future fleet, the 737 MAX and 787 will help United accelerate its fleet modernization and global growth strategy," stated Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Stan Deal.