Airbus: United Continental Adds Ten A350 Planes to Previous Order

By Robert Wall Features Dow Jones Newswires

Airbus SE (AIR.FR) on Wednesday said United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) is to buy 10 additional long-haul jets as part of the restructuring of an earlier order that will also see the U.S. carrier drop its plans to introduce the largest twin-engine, long-haul jet the European plane maker offers.

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United, the No. 3 U.S. carrier by traffic, will now buy 45 Airbus A350-900 long-range planes seating around 325 passengers. The deal has a list-price value of $14 billion and replaces a $12.6 billion, 35-plane deal for the larger A350-1000 agreed in 2013. Airlines typically get discounts from list prices.

United Chief Financial Officer Andrew Levy said in a statement that the outcomes were the result of a "complete review" of its fleet plan. The carrier last year signaled it was reconsidering plans to take the A350-1000, which seats about 366 passengers.

The move comes as Airbus and rival Boeing Co. (BA) struggle to win orders for their largest planes.

Boeing has cut production plans for its 777 and 747 jumbo--its largest airliners--while Airbus has slashed production plans for its A380 superjumbos.

France-based Airbus has also struggled to win new orders for the A350-1000 and has not secured one for the A350-1000 this year.

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United is not the only U.S. airline to revamp fleet plans in recent months. Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) and American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) have delayed taking delivery of some of Airbus' long-range planes this year.

Airbus, which now has 177 orders remaining for its A350-1000, plans to deliver the first of the models to airlines this year. Qatar Airways, the largest customer with 37 of the A350-1000 planes ordered, is due to receive the first of them.

Write to Robert Wall at robert.wall@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2017 09:23 ET (13:23 GMT)