United Airlines unveiled (02-Aug-2012) its new Boeing 787, fresh out of the paint hangar at Boeing's Everett facility. United is the North American launch customer for the 7878 and expects to take delivery of its first 787 in Sep-2012. The airline has firm orders for 50 787s, for delivery by 2019. The 787 will open up new non-stop destinations for the carrier, such as the recently-announced Denver-Tokyo service that starts in spring 2013. The aircraft cabin is configured with 36 seats in United BusinessFirst, 72 seats in United Economy Plus and 111 seats in United Economy. [more - original PR]
United Airlines unveils first 787, to enter service in Sep-2012
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The three large US global network airlines – American, Delta and United – continue to tout the strength of their balance sheets; the results which they’ve achieved during the past few years by the use of various tools, including free cash flow generation and debt reduction.
Delta is using its newly minted investment grade status to tap markets for creative ways to fund its hefty pension obligations during the next two to three years. American is also working to ensure pension compensation coverage by lifting its liquidity targets as rules allowing favourable minimum funding contributions expire in 2017.
Each of those airlines is bracing for fairly substantial capital expenditures during 2017, largely driven by aircraft acquisitions, but American, Delta and United have no plans to compromise their balance sheet progress irrationally in order to support fleet revamps.
America's airlines adjust A350 commitments. United's order in doubt as used widebodies draw praise
A desire to cut capex commitments and keep capacity in check has resulted in airlines based in the Americas undertaking comprehensive reviews of their fleets, engaging in early retirement of aircraft and deferrals. A major focus for those airlines as they scrutinise their fleet composition is widebody aircraft.
Due to the production and delivery schedules of the Airbus A350, some airlines in the Americas are opting to defer or transfer their aircraft to their partners. Earlier in 2017 United made the boldest move in declaring it was placing heavy focus on its 35 A350 widebodies on order, and possible alternatives to the aircraft.
United’s decision to consider alternatives for its A350 order is based on an overabundance of used widebody capacity and the favourable economics those aircraft can deliver with respect to ownership costs as lease rates remain soft. Airlines in South America are taking advantage of newly forged financial partnerships to alleviate some of their A350 commitments made during better economic times.