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United Airlines nears order for over 100 widebody jets - Bloomberg News

FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop

(Reuters) -United Airlines is nearing an order for more than 100 widebody jets and is evaluating offers for Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner and Airbus SE's A350, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing people briefed on the matter.

A deal could be announced by December although a timeline has not been finalized, according to the report, which added that United Airlines has been in discussions with the planemakers for months.

United Airlines and Boeing declined to comment, while Airbus did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

News of the potential multi-billion dollar order comes at a time when international and business travel is recovering, though it will take some more time to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Demand for widebody jets is also returning after years of a market glut, a boost especially for Boeing, which is in the midst of a recovery from successive crises.

The planemaker handed over its first Dreamliner jet in August after deliveries were halted for more than a year.

United Airlines Chief Executive Scott Kirby told pilots attending a Denver training session that the carrier is planning a "triple-digit" order to upgrade its fleet, Bloomberg News reported.

The airline last year unveiled a large narrowbody order for Boeing and Airbus jets. The carrier had over 800 jets in its mainline fleet, with a majority of the aircraft from Boeing, according to its latest annual filing.

Industry publication Airline Weekly reported in August that United Airlines was in the market for new Airbus or Boeing widebody aircraft to add to its fleet of twin-aisle planes.

Shares of United Airlines were down marginally in trading after the bell, while Boeing rose slightly to trade at $133.

(Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)