United Buys More 787s and E175s, for $2.2 Billion
The Farnborough air show kicked off Monday, and United Airlines is the first US carrier out of the gate at the biggest aviation trade event. The Chicago-based airline added four more Dreamliners, picking up more of the longer-range 787-9 variant, along with 25 Embraer E175 regional jets. The 787 purchase is valued at $1.1B, and the Embraer purchase is valued at $1.1B for a cool $2.2B in purchases at list prices.
United was the US launch customer of the basic model, the 787-8, having first taken delivery in 2014. The airline now has orders for 55 Dreamliners, flying long-haul routes with the mostly composite-material, fuel-efficient aircraft.
"The 787 allows us to provide our customers with an industry-leading on-board experience and continues to be a vital part of our fleet," said Gerry Laderman, United's senior vice president of finance and acting chief financial officer.
For his part, Charlie Hillis, Embraer's VP Sales & Marketing for North America was pleased with the E175 announcement, although the company's bigger preoccupation at the air show is selling its newest product, the 100-seater E2-190. Embraer's new jet just got beat by the Airbus A220 for a major order from JetBlue, and the Brazilian planemaker, whose civilian products will soon be owned and marketed by Boeing, is anxious to announce a big sale. On the sidelines of the event, Hillis said Embraer is experiencing very positive momentum in the regional jet market not seen in his 26 years at the company. "It's not bad having 80% market share," he said, referring to the 70-76 seat regional jet segment. The United network now has close to 400 Embraer RJs in its fleet.