United Continental Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiary United Air Lines, Inc. have placed a firm order for 150 Boeing 737 jets, including 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9s and 50 Boeing 737-900ERs.
The order by United Airlines, which is the world’s largest airline in terms of traffic, takes total Boeing 737-family orders past the 10,000-aircraft mark, the first time any transport-jet aircraft has ever achieved this milestone.
United’s 737-family order, worth $14.7 billion at list prices, came during the Farnborough International Airshow 2012. The aircraft will be delivered from 2013 to 2022, beginning with 737-900ERs. (Deliveries of the first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to customers are not due to begin until 2017 and United is due to get its first 737 MAX 9 in 2018.)
“This order is a major step in building the world’s leading airline, and we look forward to offering our customers the modern features and reliability of new Boeing airplanes, while also making our fleet more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly,” says Jeff Smisek, United’s president and CEO.
“New aircraft deliveries support our flexible fleet plan, permitting us to tailor future capacity up or down, based on changes in demand or other market conditions,” adds Smisek.
United is the North American launch customer for the 737 MAX 9. The order continues the momentum for the Boeing 737 MAX, which now has achieved orders and commitments for more than 1,200 aircraft from 18 customers.
Counting all variants, the 737 program now stands at orders for 10,039 aircraft, further cementing the 737 as the undisputed best-selling jetliner family in the world.
“United and Boeing share a rich history together and we are delighted United has chosen the 737 for its future fleet, renewing our partnership for decades to come,” says Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We believe the 737 provides unsurpassed quality and value in the market and will provide efficiencies and other benefits to United’s operations.”
United, in the form of then-independent Continental Airlines, was the North American launch customer for the 737-900ER in 2006 and now operates 43 of the jets. United has 97 more 737NGs on firm order including the 50737-900ERs ordered on July 11.
Chicago-based United says it now expects to take delivery of 272 firm-order new aircraft on through 2022, including 50 Boeing 787s and 25 Airbus A350 XWB widebodies, as well as the 100 737 MAX 9s.
“To witness the first commercial airplane to surpass 10,000 orders is monumental,” says Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of the 737 program. “The 737 has continuously evolved and provides improved performance, reliability and exceptional value for our customers.”
The Boeing 737-900ER and 737 MAX 9 ordered by United can seat up to 180 passengers and feature the new Boeing Sky Interior. The interior boasts modern lines, a spacious cabin with more headroom and LED lighting that offers vibrant color options.
United Airlines and its United Express regional-airline franchisees operate an average of 5,605 flights a day to 375 airports on six continents. In 2011, United flew more than two million flights that carried 142 million passengers, more than any other airline.