LONDON – It looks to be an exciting week ahead for United Airlines as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner order is expected to be announced on Tuesday.
According to View From The Wing, United & Boeing are hosting an event on Tuesday where such an order is expected to be made.
As it stands, there is no clear number for how many Dreamliners the airline is going to take from Boeing, but with this would come new upgrades to their Polaris Business Class cabin.
A Historic Announcement On The Way?
As revealed by @xJonNYC on Twitter, this is how we know that some form of an announcement is coming between the two sides.
If it is a “historic announcement”, then by nature, this will represent a significant aircraft order as well as some upgrades on the United side.
We also know that United has a fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, so that could potentially be in the picture as well, especially if there is a choice of taking more units of the type.
Either way, there isn’t much more information around this, and this is all we will know until the actual announcement on Tuesday.
Big Order Needed for Boeing’s 787…
One thing we know is that a big order on the widebody front is going to be needed from Boeing, especially in the wake of requiring positive PR on that front.
The 787 program has been majorly delayed due to the need for enhanced FAA scrutiny and aircraft fixes within its own right.
Via a report from Bloomberg, Boeing has said it will take its time with deliveries of its 787 aircraft.
At the Singapore Air Show in February, the CEO and President of the commercial wing, Stan Deal, mentioned that it is in talks with affected airlines.
“We hope the power of the product is going to get us through. But we don’t take that for granted.”
“We’re not going to rush the process.”
In the January financials for Boeing, it is understood delays to the 787 deliveries have cost the company around $5.5bn.
Such profits from this program have been wiped out due to such delivery disruptions taking place.
There hasn’t been a delivery of any 787 since June last year due to tiny imperfections on the carbon-fiber jet frames.
This, alongside the $31bn worth of black holes caused by the 737 MAX crisis over the last three years, has caused a lot of financial deterioration within the company.
Deliveries have only just been approved in the last few weeks/months.
What About The 777X?
On the 777X side, testing has been suspended following an incident with the GE9X engine, which, whilst it is not Boeing’s fault majorly, it’s still a hindrance to the program.
Boeing had to temporarily suspend flight testing on the 777X this week due to an unspecified issue on the GE9X engine.
It is understood that the issues came about during a period of testing in which the aircraft was conducting thermal exceedance evaluations.
This isn’t the first time the engine has had issues. Back in February 2018, GE Aerospace had to delay the first flight with the engine due to issues with the high-pressure compressor as well as durability issues.
Such redesigns had to take place, which pushed back the Entry-into-Service of the aircraft type even further.
The 777X expects to be approved by the FAA in the Summer of 2025.
What would be very significant is if United chooses to go for the 777X as well, which would be a major and brand-new customer for the aircraft type. Of course, all of this is in the air.
It remains clear that Tuesday is going to be somewhat of a significant announcement by both sides, and even more so for Boeing.
United will definitely utilize this announcement as a pretext to continued fleet renewal and route expansion domestically and internationally.
Boeing will definitely use this as a much-needed PR exercise off the back of what was a busy Farnborough Air Show for the American planemaker back in July.
So, for now, we sit back and wait for Tuesday!