United is always deeply price conscious and has admitted it is in talks with Airbus and Boeing for aircraft to replace its fleet of 767’s.
The airline has operated 82 767’s over the years and currently flies 51, averaged at around 25 years old with the oldest nearly 28.
The 787-8 was intended as a direct replacement for the 767, but may be too expensive – unless Boeing are prepared to sell it at cost or just below to get the order.
United already operates 787’s so the cost efficiencies are obvious – introducing the A332neo would seem an unlikely choice on those grounds alone.However the A332neo is a lot cheaper to buy and Airbus are desperate to get a large scale order for an aircraft that has no customers. At the same time that’s a major deterrent for a conservative airline like United, that rarely innovates in its aircraft choices.