United Airlines on Tuesday said it would buy its first new jets since 1998, splitting an order for 50 planes between Airbus and Boeing .
United said it ordered 25 of Boeing's long-awaited 787 widebody jetliners and 25 of the Airbus A350. Delivery is expected between 2016 and 2019, around the same time the airline will retire Boeing 747 and 767 aircraft.
At list prices the planes would be worth roughly $10 billion, with about $4 billion for Boeing's 787-8 and about $6 billion for the Airbus plane. United President John Tague said they got a discount, which is common for jet orders.
"We felt that we had a significant opportunity by timing the order with the backdrop of the current economic environment," he said.
United has not yet worked out financing for the planes, although Tague said the manufacturers had agreed to provide loans if needed.