Sky’s the Limit: Boeing Triumphs Over Airbus as United Airlines Makes Historic $14.7B Move!

United Airlines has placed an order for 150 Boeing 737 jets, amounting to $14.7 billion at list prices.

Announced in Chicago, the corporate hub for both companies, the deal includes 100 of the 737 MAX 9 and 50 of the 737-900ER extended-range jets. The delivery of these jets is scheduled between 2013 and 2022, with additional options for more aircraft included in the deal.

The negotiations for the deal, lasting about a year, were characterized by Jeff Smisek, CEO of United parent United Continental Holdings. He emphasized that the new jets would be more reliable and significantly more efficient, reducing fuel consumption by approximately 15% compared to the aircraft they are replacing.

Boeing’s exclusive role as the supplier for this order marks a triumph for the aircraft manufacturer in its competition with European rival Airbus. United had discussions with both Airbus and Boeing before opting for Boeing as its sole supplier for this order, the first since the 2010 merger of United and Continental.

This order represents Boeing’s largest since the record-breaking $22 billion sale of 230 various 737 models to Lion Air in November 2011. The 737 MAX 9 will replace some A320 Airbus jets in United’s fleet, but Smisek clarified that United will continue to have Airbus aircraft for an extended period, given its current fleet and existing orders.

Although the announcement was made in Chicago, the order will be factored into Boeing’s total sales at the Farnborough air show outside London. Boeing also revealed orders for 98 other 737 jets from Air Lease Corp. and Virgin Australia. Commitments for an additional 145 jets were made by GE Capital Aviation Services, ALAFCO, and Avalon.

Boeing stated that the cumulative value of all orders and commitments since the start of the air show is $35.6 billion. In comparison, Airbus reported winning about $16.9 billion worth of business for 115 aircraft during the show.

Following the announcement, shares of Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. fell 1.2%, while Boeing’s shares slipped 0.5%. United Continental’s shares experienced a 5% decline.