United Airlines and Boeing have announced the carrier is further expanding its 787 Dreamliner fleet. The new order for nine 787-9 examples is valued at US$2.53bn at list prices and is in addition the four announced in July.
The Chicago-based airline says the deal forms part of its wider fleet renewal strategy, as it seeks to remove its older – and costlier – widebodies from service. With this latest development, the company has ordered a total of 64 Dreamliner aircraft.
For its part, Boeing has revealed net orders for the 787 family are now above 100 for the year and tally almost 1,400 since the start of the Dreamliner programme. The aerospace giant says “nearly half” of all 787 customers have returned to place additional orders for the aeroplane, helping make it the fastest-selling widebody jet in history.
Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing at Boeing said: “It makes all of us very proud to have United place a repeat order since its team has spent a lot of time with the Dreamliner and knows what it can do.”
United launched Dreamliner operations in 2012, rostering it onto long-haul services including Houston/George Bush Intercontinental to Sydney and San Francisco to Singapore. The 787-9 can fly up to 7,635 nautical miles (14,140km) and serve 290 passengers in a standard configuration.
Later this year, the airline is set to take delivery of the largest member of the Dreamliner family, the 787-10, which can seat up to 330 passengers in a standard configuration. While the new aircraft has a range of up to 6,430 nautical miles (11,908km), the carrier has said passengers on its flagship US transcontinental routes including Newark to Los Angeles will be the first to experience the new jet.