United Airlines announced today that they will be ordering 25 of each of Boeing’s and Airbus’ latest offerings, the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 XWB, with an additional 50 purchase rights for each aircraft. United’s President and CEO, Glen Tilton, calls the order a “significant step on the path to position United for long-term success in a highly competitive global market.”
The aircraft, which are scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2019, will replace United’s 747 and 767 fleets. That means United’s international fleet will lose about ten percent of its capacity, but the savings earned through greater efficiency and reduced maintenance costs should be significant.
Both Boeing and Airbus are understandably pleased with the order. Boeing’s President and CEO, Jim McNerney, stated “We are pleased to be working with United…We think United is making a smart decision placing an order at this point in the cycle and taking delivery years into the future. The 787 Dreamliner will provide United with additional range and unmatched fuel efficiency.” Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders, said “United Airlines is a global icon, and it’s very gratifying that they have chosen the A350 to be a key part of their strategy…It also is fitting that the selection of the eco-efficient A350-900 comes at a time when the world is focusing on operating as efficiently as possible and minimizing environmental impact.”
United is expected to pay a total of $180 million over the next three years for both orders. The full purchase price has not been disclosed. These are the first aircraft United has ordered since 1998.