United Airlines’ massive order for a hundred widebody jets could be announced in the coming weeks, as reported by Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. And the favorite to strike a deal with the US airline would be Boeing.
According to sources heard by the two outlets, United would have decided in favor of the 787 Dreamliner, an aircraft that has been operating for 10 years, with 66 units in service.
The agreement can, however, be divided into firm orders and options. United has greater urgency to replace the 37 Boeing 767-300 and 16 Boeing 767-400 that have an average age of 27 and 21 years, respectively.
In a second stage, the Dreamliner should take the place of the 777-200, whose 74 aircraft in service have an average age of almost 24 years.
It will come as no surprise if United Airlines chooses the 787-10 with improved range, a version that Boeing is developing to approach the performance of the A350-900.
About the widebody Airbus, Bloomberg said that United may convert the 45 A350-900s that are pending delivery to the narrowbody A321neo.
The history of the A350 at United is troubled. The carrier ordered 25 jets in 2010, but later decided to expand the order to 35 aircraft of the A350-1000 version. In 2017, however, a new change, to 45 units of the A350-900.
Deliveries, originally scheduled to start in 2020, were only postponed to 2027. The option to convert the order to the A321neo would involve ‘skipping’ the huge queue for the crowded single-aisle jet. The companies declined to comment on the allegations raised by Bloomberg and the WSJ.