United Places Order For 25 Airbus A350 And
25 Boeing 787
Dec. 12, 2009 – United Airlines announced a significant investment in the company’s future with a widebody aircraft order that will enable the carrier to reduce operating costs and better match aircraft to key markets it serves, while providing its customers with state-of-the-art cabin comfort. The new technology aircraft will reduce fuel burn and environmental impact, while enabling service to a broader array of international destinations.
United ordered 25 Airbus A350
XWB aircraft and 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft and has future
purchase rights for 50 of each aircraft.
“Over the last few years we have made fundamental
improvements in United’s performance, delivering excellent cost control
while improving the quality and reliability of our product.
This aircraft order is another significant step on the path to
position United for long-term success in a highly competitive global
market,” said Glenn Tilton,
UAL Corporation chairman, president and CEO.
“I would like to thank our team for making this order a reality
in a manner that is consistent with our disciplined financial strategy.
We are investing in our future, and we are well positioned to
take full advantage as the economy recovers in the shorter term.”
United expects to take delivery of the aircraft
between 2016 and 2019; at the same time it will retire its international
Boeing 747s and 767s. These
50 new aircraft will reduce the average seat count by about 19 percent
compared to the aircraft they will replace, and by about 10 percent when
averaged over the entire international fleet.
With the Airbus A350 powered by the Rolls
Royce Trent XWB engine, and the Boeing 787 powered by either the Rolls
Royce Trent 1000 or the GE GEnx, United estimates it will reduce its
fuel costs and carbon emissions from the 50 aircraft by about 33
Additionally, the company expects average lifetime
maintenance costs for the new aircraft to be approximately 40 percent
lower per available seat mile than the aircraft that will be retired.
The new aircraft will open up new revenue
opportunities for United as the smaller size, longer range, and lower
operating costs of these aircraft allow the company to profitably serve
a broader range of international destinations. The A350 has a range 11
percent greater than the current B747, and the B787 has a range 32
percent greater than the current B767.
leverages current environment, orders from both manufacturers. This
order provides United with the most efficient aircraft for its
international network, providing the right range, size and operating
costs for United’s diverse set of worldwide destinations, said CFO
“Our decision to move forward
aggressively at the bottom of the business cycle clearly benefited us.
We secured the right aircraft and the right
deal for United,” Mikells said. “The orders require minimal capital over
the next few years but ensure we will have the right planes to
strengthen our global network over the next decade.”
Ordering in a down cycle expected to reap benefits.
“We are pleased to be working with United, our longtime customer, and
launch customer of the Boeing 777,” said Jim McNerney, Boeing chairman,
president and CEO. “We think United is making a smart decision placing
an order at this point in the cycle and taking delivery years into the
future. The 787 Dreamliner will provide United with additional range and
unmatched fuel efficiency.”
“United Airlines is a global
icon, and it's very gratifying that they have chosen the A350 to be a
key part of their strategy,” said Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders.
“It also is fitting that the selection of
the eco-efficient A350-900 comes at a time when the world is focusing on
operating as efficiently as possible and minimizing environmental
Airbus and United have been partners for two
decades, and we look forward to extending that partnership well into the
United Airlines operates
approximately 3,300* flights a day on United and United Express to more
than 200 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
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