SEATTLE -- The Boeing Co. yesterday bagged a record $11 billion aircraft order from United Airlines and, because of it, will launch its long-proposed 777 jetliner.
United placed firm orders for 34 of the 350-seat twin-engine 777, with options for 34 more.
The United order, valued at a potential $22 billion counting options, also included 30 firm orders and 30 options for Boeing's popular 747-400 jumbo jet, assuring steady production of that plane into the late 1990s.
United's total order yesterday for 777s and 747-400s is the largest order ever for Boeing and the largest single order ever placed by a commercial airline.
Yesterday's order was United's second billion-dollar order with Boeing in 18 months. In April 1989, it placed an order for 180 narrow-bodied 737s and 757s valued at $7.1 billion and, with options, valued at a potential $15.74 billion.
Stephen Wolf, United's chairman, said the new purchase will let United to replace older jets and expand domestic and international routes to position the company to "compete aggressively around the world."
The new plane, with optional folding wings permitting it to fit into DC-10 airport gates, is expected to be produced at Boeing's Everett plant, north of Seattle, where the 747 and 767 are assembled.