The vast, twin-aisle airplane Boeing 787, which United Airlines announced it ordered on Tuesday, would be used to replace older aircraft and open up more international routes.
United also added the smaller Boeing 737 Max to its order book, which is used for domestic flights.
The corporations withheld the orders’ financial details. United claimed it had a choice of three 787 sizes, with list prices ranging from $248 million to $338 million each.
However, airlines sometimes negotiate significant price reductions on aircraft orders.
United has options on 100 additional 787s and is expected to start receiving them in 2024.
The large order is a risky gamble for an airline that lost money throughout the pandemic until the middle of this year.
United dubbed it the biggest by a U.S. carrier for twin-aisle or “widebody” planes.
However, since travel demand has primarily returned to 2019 levels and ticket prices have skyrocketed higher than a year ago due to fewer flights, executives at United and other airlines are sounding upbeat.
The order is also good news for Boeing. The American manufacturer of aircraft is still battling to recover from two fatal Max crashes, 787 manufacturing issues, and setbacks in other initiatives, including a contract to build two new Air Force One presidential aircraft.
More than $21 billion has been lost since 2019.
The A350, manufactured by European rival and Boeing competitor Airbus, was an option for the Chicago-based airline.
Although United has 45 A350s on order, it won’t begin getting them until 2030.
According to United CEO Scott Kirby, the airline chose Boeing since it already operates the 787 and didn’t want to add another aircraft to its fleet when actively recruiting pilots and attempting to extend its route network.
At the same time, Boeing added a new order for 56 Max aircraft and converted options on 44 Max aircraft into firm orders.
These 100 aircraft, slated to arrive between 2024 and 2028, will replace outdated aircraft and enable United to expand its domestic flights vary somewhat.
Executives from the United stated they might finance all of these planes or utilize cash flow to pay for them. Due to the orders,
United anticipates an increase in capital expenditures to $9 billion in 2019 and $11 billion in 2024.