United Airlines compares candidates for fleet renewal
Chicago - United Airlines is shortlisting the Airbus A330-800 and Bombardier CSeries for the next stages of fleet renewal. In 2017, the US carrier questioned its fleet strategy and restructured large-scale orders.
United is looking for successors to its aged 757-200 / 300 and 767-300ER sub-fleets. Gerry Laderman, Senior Vice President of Finance & Procurement and Treasurer of United Airlines, has now introduced United to investors with the Airbus A321neo and A330-800 in addition to the Boeing 737 MAX 10 and the 787-8.
Airbus has received so far only one order for the A330-800 (Hawaiian Airlines), which also stands on the verge.
If Boeing materializes its New Mid-market Airplane (NMA) program, which is also known as the 797, United - in addition to Delta - could register in the early customer list.
What we've seen so far is highly interesting to us,said Andrew Levy, United's Chief Financial Officer.
Boeing plans to fill the gap between the 737 MAX 10 and 787-8 with a 225-seater version up to a range of 5,000 NM, and a 275-seater version that can fly 4,000 NM. The manufacturer is warming up for the start of the program and will eventually accept first orders in 2018.
Last year Boeing thought to produce a smaller version of 767-300ER. United had been considered as a potential buyer in this context, as new 767-300ER could serve the airline as a bridge solution until the first 797s are available.
The United's 757-200 and 767-300ER sub-fleets are on average more than 20 years old and comprise 56 and 35 aircraft respectively. After the replacement of these devices with next-gen aircraft, United will undertake the renewal of its sub-fleets A319 / A320 and 737-700 / -800, according to Laderman.
As an alternative to new A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX, United does not rule out to look at the used aircraft market. The Embraer E195-E2 and the Bombardier CS100 and CS300 could also find a place in the United fleet of the 2020s.
The A350-900 and 787-10 are both successors to the 777-200ER.These widebodies will replace United's 777-200ERs from 2022.
United had ordered the A350-1000 as a successor to the 747-400. However, this role is now taken over by new 777-300ERs, which Boeing has offered "at attractive terms," according to Laderman.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, United Airlines is the world's third-largest airline after American Airlines and Delta Air Lines when measured by revenue.