United Airlines has finalized an order for 25 Boeing 787-8s, the deal also including purchase rights another 50 Dreamliners.
“Boeing and United Airlines share an 80-year partnership,” says Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “United, which launched the Boeing 777, now begins a new chapter with the 787 Dreamliner, the most technologically advanced commercial jetliner ever built.”
The order is valued at $4.2 billion at average list prices, but because of United’s importance to Boeing as a strategic customer ― Boeing and United are both headquartered in Chicago ― and the size of its potential order, the airline is unlikely to be paying as much per aircraft as the $168 million that the total list-price value of the deal implies.
“United’s Boeing 787 order represents a substantial investment in our future and will enhance the significant progress we are making in improving the global competitiveness of our company while providing the opportunity to open new profitable markets and serve a broader range of international destinations,” says John Tague, president of United Airlines.
United expects to take delivery of the 787s over the same period it begins retiring its Boeing 747-400s and 767-300ERs operating on international routes.
The 787 Dreamliner, currently in flight test, will give United greater fuel efficiency, allowing it potentially to add new, nonstop city pairs and the additional frequencies that passengers prefer.
Boeing says the 787 also promises a more comfortable flying experience for passengers. Its innovations include a new interior environment with improvements in air filtration, higher cabin pressurization resulting in reduced physical fatigue, larger windows, more stowage space, improved lighting and other passenger-preferred conveniences.
The 787 will also provide airlines with up to 45 per cent more cargo revenue capacity than the 767s it replaces.
Including United Airlines, 57 customers around the world have ordered 876 Dreamliners, a total that Boeing claims makes the 787 the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history.
In 2010 United, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UAL Corporation, will operate approximately 3,300 United Airlines mainline and regional-airline-franchise United Express flights each day to more than 230 U.S. domestic and international destinations from its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
With key global air rights in the Asia Pacific region, Europe and Latin America, United is one of the largest international carriers based in the United States. United also is a founding member of the Star Alliance, which provides connections for its customers to 1,077 destinations in 175 countries worldwide.