Boeing and United Airlines finalizes deal for 737 MAX and 787s

United Airlines ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX and 100 Boeing 787 aircraft
Angel DiBilio /

Boeing and United Airlines announced having reached an agreement for an order of 200 aircraft, including narrow-body and wide-body jets. 

United Airlines will bolster its fleet with 200 new aircraft in total: 100 737 MAX and 100 Boeing 787s. The airline placed 56 new 737 MAX orders and exercised options for 44 aircraft. The Dreamliner deal is the largest order for the type to date. 

“United emerged from the pandemic as the world’s leading global airline and the flag carrier of the United States,” said Scott Kirby, United Airlines Chief Executive Officer. “This order further solidifies our lead and creates new opportunities for our customers, employees, and shareholders by accelerating our plan to connect more people to more places around the globe and deliver the best experience in the sky.” 

In total, United Airlines will now have 530 Boeing aircraft in its backlog, including 430 737 MAX aircraft. 

United Airlines’ order in the making 

The order comes as no surprise, as with an aging fleet, the airline had to look for new wide-body aircraft to ensure a more fuel-efficient fleet in the near future. 

United Airlines has 66 Boeing 787s, 53 767s, and 96 777s. The last two aircraft types have been aging, as the average age of these aircraft is 25.1 and 19.3 years old, respectively, as per data. 

According to Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries data, as of October 31, 2022, the airline had a single unfilled order for a 787. 

In a United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, United Airlines noted that the first batch of 787s would reach the airline in 2024. However, “approximately 120 widebody aircraft in the fleet would reach the age of 30 years by the end of the delivery period,” the filing continued, indicating that the order for the Dreamliners would address United Airlines “wide-body aircraft replacement needs, including the Boeing 767 fleet and certain Boeing 777 aircraft.” 

United Airlines still has 45 Airbus A350s order. According to the same SEC filing, these aircraft are expected to arrive after 2024.  

As for the Boeing 737 MAX, the US-based airline expects to receive 95 aircraft in 2023, 131 in 2024, and the remaining 210 are set to arrive sometime after 2024. 

“With this investment in its future fleet, the 737 MAX and 787 will help United accelerate its fleet modernization and global growth strategy,” said Stan Deal, the President, and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The Boeing team is honored by United’s trust in our family of airplanes to connect people and transport cargo around the world for decades to come.” 

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