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Boeing Has Lent UAL Corp $900 Million

Boeing, which is seeking to maintain its assembly lines, has provided almost...

Boeing, which is seeking to maintain its assembly lines, has provided almost $900 million of aircraft financing to United Airlines since last September's terrorist attacks.

United, which is a subsidiary of the Chicago based UAL Corp, borrowed about $1.2 billion from Boeing's main finance subsidiary as of March 31st compared with $315.4 million at the end of September, according to a quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. United now ranks as the largest customer at the finance unit, Boeing Capital Corp.

The world's second largest airline has struggled since the terrorist attacks, as former Chief Executive Officer James Goodwin slashed United's flight schedule by more than a quarter and even raised the possibility that financial losses could lead the carrier to ?perish.? The financing from Chicago based Boeing shows how the manufacturer is willing to support a large customer during times of duress, in part to prevent the cancellation of orders for new jets.

?When things get tough in the capital markets for airlines, then the manufacturers have to step in and write the checks to support the production lines,? said James Swigart, who formerly served as treasurer of Continental Airlines and CEO of Virgin Express Holdings and is now on the board of Mesa Air Group.