Boeing received a big order from United Continental Holdings for the stretch version of the 737 jet aeroplane.

UAL bought 150 units of Boeing’s biggest single-aisle jet, including 50 737-900ERs, with the world’s largest airline aiming to cut its fuel bill by replacing older, less efficient planes like the Boeing 757.

The deal is a massive blow to rival aeroplane maker Airbus, which last year also lost to Boeing an order of 100 planes from Delta Air Lines. Even though Airbus added eight-foot-high extensions to the A321’s wings to help it fly longer distances, the two American airlines opted for Boeing.

The 757-200 can carry as many as 200 passengers in a two-class configuration and has a maximum range of about 3,900 nautical miles (7,200 kilometers). The 737-900ER has a similar capacity but a maximum range of 3,200 nautical miles. For comparison, the Airbus A321 can transport 185 passengers on a maximum distance of 3,200 nautical miles without refuelling.

United Airline’s order, estimated at $14,7 billion, included 100 737 Max 9 jets, the plane which will replace the 737-900ER. The planes will be delivered from 2013 to 2022. The 737 Max 9 will be about 13 percent more fuel-efficient than the 737-900ER.


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