United Airlines would be close to announcing a mega order for single-aisle jets from Boeing and Airbus. According to sources at Bloomberg and Reuters, total orders could reach 200 aircraft of the 737 MAX and A321neo models.
The largest order is expected to be placed with Boeing, between 100 to 150 737 MAX 8 jets, while Airbus could be awarded a new order for 50 A321neo.
United, Boeing and Airbus declined to comment.
Analysts say the U.S. airline plans to renew its single-aisle jet fleet, currently based on the 737 NG series, but which also includes 190 A319 and A320 model aircraft with more than two decades in service.
United operates 206 older 737 jets, with an average age of nearly 20 years. The company also has 136 737-900ER, averaging 8.5 years old, and 30 737 MAX 9 recently delivered.
The new 737 MAX 8 would therefore replace the 737 and A320, making the fleet with up to 200 seats practically formed by Boeing aircraft.
Successor to the Boeing 757
The new A321neo, in turn, is expected to bolster United’s order for 50 A321XLRs in 2019, bringing the airline’s total aircraft to 100 planes.
The carrier currently has 60 Boeing 757 versions 200 and 300 (with greater passenger capacity), but which are among the oldest in the fleet. Some of these planes originate from Continental Airlines, which joined United in 2012.