United Airlines still plans to reach a decision by year-end about placing an order with Airbus or Boeing for widebody aircraft, and replacement of its Boeing 757s.

The carrier formally sent a request for proposal in June to the rival airframers after determining the competitive environment was ripe for either Airbus or Boeing to secure an order from one of the largest widebody operators in the world.

Flightglobal's ACAS database shows United operates 25 747-400s, 34 767-300ERs, 19 777-200s and 33 777-200ERs. The carrier also operates 94 757-200s.

Today during a call with analysts and investors to discuss the carrier's $57 million loss for the third quarter, United chief financial officer Kathryn Mikells said the carrier is "very close to wrapping this up and making a decision", about its intent to place an order.

Mikells said both manufacturers offer "very good products in terms of their potential to fit into our long-term fleet strategy".

She said it is "really about the deal and the economics of the aircraft, and that's what we're pressing on right now".

United is confident both manufacturers will remain "very responsive" in the competition, said Mikells, "and we look forward to bringing it to a close".

Source: Flight International