United has not ordered a new plane in over a decade. As one of the USA's oldest airlines, with arguable the bluest of any US airlines' heritage (an offspring of Boeing), whatever they do is automatically big news. Not only has it been a long time since United bought new planes, the airline has been mortgaging assets and parking planes - of late it has been among the airlines brands hardest hit. Even a broken guitar caused the airline a flutter of news. Its been a tough few years.
But this pending order is coming at an auspicious time - we are in the midst of a relative drought in orders, certainly from big US airlines. United, for all its tribulations, remains a company everyone watches. Its home base of Chicago also means special attention - Boeing is based in Chicago and the President hails from Chicago. Yet this deal is nowhere near a shoo-in for Boeing.
Discussing the pending order are Julie Johnsson of the Chicago Tribune and Jon Ostrower from FlightGlobal. The discussion ranges across the entire US airline industry, alliances and then comes back to the United order.