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United Airlines to order up to 200
Friday, 4th May 2012 07.46am

United Airlines is putting the finishing touches on an order for at least 100 Boeing Co 737 narrowbody jets potentially worth $10 billion at list prices, industry sources said on Thursday.

The order could increase to as many as 200 jets if United exercises about 100 options to buy other narrowbodies. The deal will feature mainly Boeing's upcoming 737 MAX, an upgraded, fuel-efficient version of the company's best-selling 737, said the sources who are close to the negotiations.

The sources declined to be identified because the negotiations are private and the deal is not yet final.

The order will also include some of the current model of the 737, the Next-Generation, they said. The sources said the two sides were still deciding the number of Next Generation 737s that will be part of the order.

The deal could be completed in the next few weeks, and the number of firm orders is still subject to change, the sources said.

A spokeswoman for United's parent, United Continental Holdings, declined to comment as did a Boeing spokesman.

Negotiations for this order have been underway since last year with both Boeing and its European rival Airbus bidding. Industry watchers had expected the number of firm orders to be closer to 200, and that the order could be split between the two plane makers.

The MAX lists for about $100 million, depending on the model. But customers often negotiate prices well below list. ( C) Reuters

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