United Airlines becomes world’s largest 787 operator after recent Boeing order

Oct 3, 2023, 2:31 PM

united airlines boeing...

A United Airlines flight lifts off at O'Hare International Airport on December 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

United Airlines is expanding its 787 Dreamliner fleet, exercising options to order 50 additional 787-9 airplanes from Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“United’s unprecedented commitment to the 787 Dreamliner family is a testament to the market-leading operating economics and reliability of Boeing’s widebody jets,” said Stan Deal, President and CEO of Boeing, in a prepared statement. “With the 787, United will enjoy all the synergies of operating one of the largest, most efficient fleets in the skies.”

The order from United provides the airline additional flexibility as the company modernizes its global fleet over the next decade.

“We’re building a bright future at United, and this order takes our already successful United Next plan into the next decade and beyond,” said Scott Kirby, United CEO, in a prepared statement. “Our planning and focus on the long term have helped us surge past other airlines that stood still. I’m convinced our strategy is the right one as we continue to add new, larger aircraft to take full advantage of our growing flying opportunities both internationally and domestically.”

More from Boeing: Boeing supplier and union reach tentative contact, end strike

With this purchase, United Airlines has positioned itself to become the world’s largest 787 operator. United currently has the largest Dreamliner orderbook on record after its record-setting purchase of 100 787 airplanes last year.

The 787 is the best-selling widebody in history with more than 1,800 orders from 87 customers – including more than 870 repeat orders from 56 repeat customers. In the last year, customers have placed nearly 350 orders and commitments for the 787 family, according to Adam Mentz, spokesperson for Boeing.

The enhanced efficiency and performance of the 787 airplane reduces fuel use and emissions by up to 25% compared with the airplanes it replaces, according to Boeing. The 787-9’s range allows carriers to fly up to 7,565 nautical miles (14,010 km) while seating nearly 300 passengers.

More on WA’s carbon emissions: WA carbon emissions highest since 2007, but well below 1999 peak

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United Airlines becomes world’s largest 787 operator after recent Boeing order