United places huge Boeing order

United has ordered 100 B737 MAX 9 aircraft
United has ordered 100 B737 MAX 9 aircraft

United Airlines has placed an order with Boeing for 150 B737 aircraft.

Under the new agreement, which was signed yesterday at the Farnborough Airshow, United will purchase 100 B737 MAX 9 aircraft and 50 B737-900ER aircraft, for delivery between 2013 and 2022. The deal makes United the North American launch customer for the B737 MAX 9. It is already the US launch customer of the B787 Dreamliner and was previously the first American carrier to operate the B767 and B777.

“This order is a major step in building the world’s leading airline, and we look forward to offering our customers the modern features and reliability of new Boeing airplanes, while also making our fleet more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Jeff Smisek, United’s President & CEO. “New aircraft deliveries support our flexible fleet plan, permitting us to tailor future capacity up or down, based on changes in demand or other market conditions. 

“These new aircraft, combined with our new wide-body aircraft already on order and our existing fuel-efficient aircraft, will solidify United’s future fleet as one of the most efficient and environmentally-responsible fleets among our global competitors,” Smisek added.

United will begin taking delivery of the 100 B737 MAX 9 aircraft in 2018. This is the largest version of Boeing’s new B737 MAX aircraft – the new fuel-efficient version of the traditional single-aisle B737 – and seats approximately 180 passengers in a typical two-class configuration.

The 50 B737-900ER aircraft will be delivered from late 2013, mainly replacing the airline’s older, less-efficient B757-200 aircraft on domestic routes. United was the North American launch customer for the B737-900ER following an order placed in 2006. It currently operates a fleet of 43 B737-900ERs.

All the new B737-900s and B737 MAX 9s will be equipped with Boeing’s Sky Interior, which features LED lighting and larger overhead storage bins.

The total 150-plane order is valued at US$14.65 billion at current list prices.

Following yesterday’s deal, United’s order book stands at 272 new aircraft to be delivered over the next 10 years, including 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 25 Airbus A350s. The airline’s first Dreamliner will be delivered in September.

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