United Airlines Orders Mix Of 110 New Boeing, Airbus Aircraft

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United Airlines announced yesterday (Oct. 3) it is posting its second giant order for new-generation aircraft. Last December, the airline ordered 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliners as it continues replacing aging aircraft types and places more focus on international flying. The new order splits allegiance between Boeing and Airbus.

United expects to receive 50 more Boeing 787-9s between 2028 and 2031 and 60 single-aisle Airbus A321neo models (“new engine option”) between 2028 and 2030. The order also includes options for an additional 50 Dreamliners and 40 more Airbus A321neos.

In a statement yesterday, United CEO Scott Kirby said, “I’m convinced our strategy is the right one as we continue to add new, larger aircraft to take full advantage of our growing flying opportunities both internationally and domestically.” The published price of a 787-9 is $292.5 million, $129.5 million for the Airbus, though it is common for airlines to negotiate discounts, particularly on larger orders. The new, larger-capacity jets will come in handy, as United reported it averaged 104 seats per North American departure in 2019 but anticipates that average will climb 40 percent (to 145 occupied seats per flight) by 2027.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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