UPDATE: Live and Let’s Fly has independently learned that United Airlines will announce its new Boeing order at a ceremony with United CEO Scott Kirby and Boeing CEO Stan Deal at the Boeing plant that produces 787 Dreamliners on Tuesday, December 13, 2022.
Multiple news agencies are reporting that United Airlines is close to finalizing a deal that would add dozens of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to its fleet.
United Airlines On Cusp Of 787 Deal With Boeing
In October, news broke that United was preparing to announce a new widebody jet order from either Airbus or Boeing, with 100 aircraft rumored to be purchased. That deal still has not been announced, but a flurry of sources this week have suggested a trimmed-down deal is near.
Boeing has finally restarted its 787 production after months of regulatory delays but is still not back to full production capacity. Over time, it hopes to increase production to five aircraft per month. Boeing faces a backlog of over 400 Dreamliner aircraft.
While both Boeing and United declined to comment on the deal, sources tell Live and Let’s Fly that a deal is imminent.
The Wall Street Journal reports that “dozens” of aircraft will be ordered, but the number I keep hearing is 100.
United is looking to replace its aging 767 fleet in the years ahead, of which it has 30 767-300 and 12 767-400 aircraft in service. These aircraft experience operational issues at a higher rate than other aircraft, prompting the move to replace them.
While I still hold out a sliver of hope that United is considering the 777-9 aircraft as part of its long-term fleet renewal plan, it would not surprise me (and would make logical sense) if United simply stuck to one aircraft for its widebody service. With three variants of the 787 (the -8, -9, and -10) there is ample flexibility for United’s longhaul needs around the world.
We heard strong rumors of an impending aircraft order in October that never happened and now we are hearing rumblings again. United Airlines is expected to announce a deal for more Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the days ahead. Will it happen this time? We will all be watching.