United Airlines is working with Boeing on the development of the 777X, a replacement and stretch of the existing 777 line.
Ron Baur, a vice president responsible for developing and execution of the fleet plan at the Chicago-based Star Alliance carrier, calls the 777X a "very interesting airplane", during a chat on Twitter today thta was focused on the carrier's fleet planning.
He adds that United is working with both Airbus and Boeing on the development of new aircraft.
"Both do a great job listening," says Baur.
United has 74 777-200s in its fleet, an order for 25 Airbus A350-900XWB and options for 50 additional A350s, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.
Boeing is expected to launch the 787-10 as a replacement for the 777-200, and the 777X as a replacement for the 777-300ER and a stretch of the existing aircraft. The new 777 is also positioned as a direct competitor to the A350-900 amd A350-1000.
Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman and chief executive of Air Lease Corp, said that United participates in a small group advising Boeing on the 777X programme along with ALC, Emirates, Delta Air Lines and Qatar Airways, in an interview with Flightglobal recently.
The formal launch of the 777X is expected next year, once Boeing has a clearer picture of the specifications of the A350-1000.
"The 787 experience has been so overwhelmingly complex that Boeing is trying to be thoughtful and conscious of what is involved in launching what amounts to a new airplane," said Udvar-Hazy on the 777X.
In the same chat on Twitter, Baur talks about the range of the 737 Max 9. "The 737 Max-9 doesn't currently have the range to fly trans-Atlanic. We wish it did," he says.
United operates a fleet of long-range 757-200s from the US East Coast to several European destinations, but their order for the 737 Max-9 is aimed solely at their domestic network. United avoided a direct answer to a tweet asking about good options for replacing the international 757s.
"We have time," Baur writes. "Our trans-Atlantic fleet is young."