United eyes huge jet order despite recession

WASHINGTON: United Airlines has asked Boeing and Airbus to propose bids for an order of as many as 150 jets in a deal that could be worth more than 10 billion dollars, The Wall Street Journal reported.

United's big move also comes as travel demand has been sliding, and with credit markets tight.

Yet "by staging a winner-take-all competition, United's parent, UAL Corp., is hoping to obtain better terms than otherwise might be available," the Journal said in its online edition citing unnamed people familiar with the situation.

"United is among myriad companies attempting to use the economic downturn -- and in some cases, lower steel and other commodity costs -- as a chance to expand or land better pricing," the report noted.