United Airlines in talks to buy at least 100 Boeing 737 Max jets

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop, at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, U.S. December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

(Reuters) – United Airlines Holdings (NASDAQ:) Inc is in advanced talks to buy a large narrow-body aircraft order, which would include at least 100 Boeing (NYSE:) Co 737 Max jets as part of a broader fleet revamp, Bloomberg News reported late Wednesday.

The carrier is looking to upgrade its fleet and study several new, fuel-efficient models at a time when the likes of Boeing and Airbus SE (OTC:) are hungry for deals while demand for leisure travel has been surging in the United States, the report said https://bloom.bg/3izdUZQ, citing people familiar with the discussions.

Boeing’s portion of the order could include 150 Max, Bloomberg News added.

“We do not currently have a deal in place with Boeing or Airbus to purchase new aircraft and do not comment on speculative aircraft orders,” United spokesperson Luke Punzenberger said.

In March, the airline had ordered 25 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, as it prepares to replace aging jets and meet post-pandemic demand growth.

Bookings for U.S. airlines are expected to rebound this year on the back of speedy COVID-19 vaccination programs and easing restrictions after the pandemic caused one of the industry’s worst downturns in 2020.

Boeing said the company does not comment on customer discussions.

The planemaker has been offering some customers steep discounts, reduced upfront payments and other inducements that may not be available once global air traffic returns to more normal levels, the report said.

Reuters last month reported that Boeing had drawn up preliminary plans for a fresh sprint in 737 MAX output to as many as 42 jets a month in fall 2022.

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