United, Boeing settle on 787 delays, 160 737s ordered

United Airlines has settled its dispute with Boeing over the delayed 787 jet, although the airline isn’t saying how much the compensation is worth.

United also disclosed on Wednesday that it has options for 160 more 737s, which would more than double the size of its 150-jet order announced last week.

Boeing delivered its first 787s last year, three years late. United is due to get its first one in September out of an order for 50. Boeing has been negotiating compensation for late 787s for various airlines, although the amount of the compensation, and its form — cash, credit on orders, or something else — has been closely guarded.

United’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said its estimates for future spending of $18.5 billion in coming years was adjusted to include the “impact of the resolution between the Company and Boeing relating to compensation” for 787 delays. Other adjustments were made, too, so it was impossible to tell how much was specifically for the 787 delay.

United Continental Holdings Inc. spokeswoman Megan McCarthy confirmed that the compensation for the delays has been settled. She and Boeing both declined to say how much compensation was involved or what form it took.

The United order announced last week was for 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9s, a new version of the plane that is getting new engines and other fuel-efficiency tweaks and is due to start hauling passengers in 2017. United also ordered 50 737-900ERs, which Boeing makes now. The whole order would be worth more than $14 billion at list prices, although discounts on such big orders are routine.

On Wednesday, United said it also has options for another 100 737 MAX 9s and another 60 737-900ERs. United said last week that it had additional options, but didn’t say how many.

The firm orders for 150 planes, plus options for 160 more, would give United a total of 310 new planes in a fleet that currently has 701. Chicago-based United has said that it will decide later whether to use the new planes to make the airline bigger, or to replace older jets that it will retire.

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