United’s CFO told Reuters on Monday that UA could potentially swap 787 Dreamliner orders for 777-300ERs. United currently has no interest in the 77X, but it’s predecessor could be a “potentially good fit” for UA’s network and would help United in markets where they require additional seats to satisfy demand. “This isn’t necessarily a statement about the 787, the routes on which Dreamliners fly work very well.”
The swap would be a victory for Boeing, which has long insisted it can sell the 100 777-300ERs it plans to produce annually before it shifts toward building the 777X, starting in 2017. Analysts have expressed concern that Boeing might have to cut prices or production as it makes this switch.
United clarified that a deal would exchange planes on order without adding new purchases to United’s books. The airline has yet to make a decision on the swap, which would not be a “massive” conversion.
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