Thumping £9.5bn order from United sets Boeing soaring

Posted on 13 Jul 2012

Boeing has secured a £9.5 billion order from United Airlines to build 150 new planes.

The order was confirmed on Thursday at the Farnborough International Airshow and includes 100 of the new 737 MAX 9 and 50 Boeing 737-900ER aircraft. The deal is worth $14.7 billion at list prices.

The booking by United, the world’s largest airline by traffic, brings the total number of orders for the 737 family to over 10,000 aircraft.

Jeff Smisek, CEO of United’s parent company United Continental Holdings, said that fuel efficiency and reducing environmental damage, as well as the airframes operational features, was key to the decision. It is understood that the deal, one of the largest in Boeing’s history, took more than a year to broker.
The deal means that Boeing topped the Farnborough Air Show sales league table over rival Airbus, who on Thursday announced its sales and commitments book for the week at £11 billion ($16.7bn).

The deal redresses the balance in the market share between the top two aircraft manufacturers, where Airbus’s order book in 2011 eclipsed that of its US rival.

United officials said at a press conference in Chicago yesterday that they had been in talks with both Boeing and Airbus. But Boeing’s chief executive Roy COner said “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.”

Boeing claims the that Next-Generation 737 is the most fuel efficient and reliable single aisle airplane today with an 8% seat operating cost advantage over the nearest competitor.

Equipped with new LEAP-1B engines from CFM International and improvements such as the Advanced Technology Winglet, the MAX reduces fuel burn and CO2 emissions by 13% over a comparable airframe.