United Airlines nears second deal for single-aisle jets from Boeing -WSJ

Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:55pm EST
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Feb 22 (Reuters) - United Continental Holdings Inc is nearing a second deal to purchase narrowbody aircraft from Boeing Co, potentially dealing a blow to smaller planemakers Bombardier Inc and Embraer SA, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

In January, the airline said it would order 40 small planes from Boeing for $3.2 billion at list prices, and a United executive said the company would continue to look at additional aircraft orders.

Citing two people familiar with the aircraft negotiations, the Journal said the number of planes in United's latest planned order was not immediately known.

A decision by the Chicago-based airline to pick Boeing's single-aisle jets could appear a lost opportunity for Canada's Bombardier, which has sought orders from a big name such as United or Delta Air Lines Inc as it prepares its flagship CSeries jets to enter service after delays and cash problems.

Last week Bombardier received its first order in 16 months for the planes, with Air Canada signing a letter of intent to purchase 45 and maintain the option to buy 30 more.

A United spokeswoman said on Monday that the airline does not discuss its future fleet plans. A Boeing spokesman said the planemaker does not discuss conversations with any of its customers.

Bombardier was not immediately available to comment. Embraer declined to comment. (Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in New York, Allison Lampert in Montreal and Brad Haynes in Sao Paulo; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)