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Fleet makeover: United Airlines adds another Dreamliner and more new twin-engine planes

Fleet makeover: United Airlines adds another Dreamliner and more new twin-engine planes

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United Airlines is in the midst of big additions to its fleet of 701 air carriers.  Logo.Wikia.com

After an unexpected week-long delay on Boeing's end, United Airlines received its second 787 Dreamliner at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental on Wednesday. This news comes just as the carrier completed the Federal Aviation Administration's month-long certification process for its first 787 Dreamliner, which will begin passenger service on a Chicago-bound flight on Sunday at 7:20 a.m.

United expects to receive a total of five wide-body jets by the end of 2012, with a total of 50 anticipated over the next few years (United and Continental Airlines had each put in an order for 25 Dreamliners prior to the 2010 merger).

The airline told Reuters that the year's subsequent deliveries may also be delayed, although Boeing insists that the issues would not affect delivery of 787s to other customers. 

Meanwhile, United is also allegedly in talks with Airbus for the first U.S. purchase of the plane manufacturer's A350-1000 twin-engine jet.

Bloomberg reports that those 350-seat planes would replace older Boeing 747s in United's fleet — and according to the report, "United already has agreed to buy 25 of the mid-sized A350-900 variant under a 2009 deal that included 25 of Boeing's 787 Dreamliners."