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United orders A350-900 from Airbus for $14 billion

Staff Writer |
Airbus secured an order for 45 of its A350-900 jetliners from United Continental Holdings.

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The deal, valued at $14 billion before customary discounts, is a conversion of an earlier order for 35 of Airbus’s bigger -1000 variant. The carrier had indefinitely postponed delivery of its first four planes earlier this year as it reviewed its fleet plans.

Deliveries of the new Airbus jetliners won’t begin until 2022, when United’s fleet of Boeing Co. 777-200ER aircraft reach 25 years of age.

The smaller A350 is “a better fit and size for the United network,” the carrier said in a regulatory filing Wednesday.

The airline’s earlier deal for 35 of the A350-1000 planes had a list value of $12.6 billion at current prices. United is seeking to renew its fleet of aging 747 and 777 wide-body planes.

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