United Airlines announces huge Boeing 787 order

United Airlines announces huge Boeing 787 order
United Airlines announces huge Boeing 787 order

Betting on robust demand for international travel, United Airlines  unveiled an order of 100 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners with options for an additional 100 jets.

The huge order, the largest by an American carrier for this class of aircraft, marks a victory for Boeing after 346 people died in two major 737 MAX crashes that grounded the jet globally for more than a year and a half.

United Chief Executive Scott Kirby, who also announced a giant Boeing and Airbus order in June 2021 ahead of rivals, predicted the airline's ambitious 787 plan would pay off for the carrier during a capacity-constrained period.

"United is really uniquely positioned to grow in a way that's going to be a huge challenge for others," Kirby told reporters.

Speaking at a signing event, Kirby said that Boeing remained a vital company for the United States and that the order was a vote of confidence that the company had turned the corner after a difficult period.

"As much as anything, I trust you and I trust your company," Kirby said.

United expects the jets to be delivered between 2024 and 2032, with the new aircraft targeted to replace the 767 fleet that will be removed from service by 2030.

United executives did not offer an estimate of the total potential cost of the contracts, but projected that capital spending would rise to $9 billion in 2023 and $11 billion in 2024.

United said it also exercised options for an additional 44 737 MAX planes between 2024 and 2026, and ordered 56 more MAX jets for 2027 and 2028.