United Airlines is set to buy 150 Boeing 737s to replace its older planes that are not fuel efficient. The order was placed Thursday that includes 100 Boeing 737 Max 9. It is a new version of the airplane that has new engines and other improvements to cut its fuel consumption. The planes will be delivered to United Airlines in 2018. United Airlines is also purchasing 50 Boeing 737-900ER. The planes will arrive late next year.
United Airlines’ order doesn’t mean that the company is getting bigger. The planes will begin arriving late next year and replace the older Boeing 757-200s, which are already obsolete. The company said that the new planes are 15 percent more fuel efficient per seat than the ones they will replace. The Max 9 model will arrive in 2018 to replace the airline’s old planes or make its fleet larger.
The order would be worth more than $14 billion according to list prices but large airlines such as United don’t usually pay list prices. The 737 is a workhorse for domestic flights. United Airlines already have 43 737 in its fleet, which can sit 173 passengers. The new 737 Max is one of the largest from Boeing and can sit up to 215 people.
The order is a victory for Boeing, which has been hoping to improve orders for its Max line. Airbus beat the company last year by offering its new version of the A320 that has a new engine earlier than Boeing. According to United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek, his company has been in talks with both Boeing and Airbus before opting for Boeing. He told this during a news conference in Chicago, where both United and Boeing are based. In attendance during the event was Boeing Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney. Shares of United Continental Holdings dropped $1.08 or 4.4 percent during Thursday trading. Boeing shares dropped 29 cents to $71.73.