(Adds no Boeing, United comments, background)
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - United Airlines plans to announce a major Boeing 787 Dreamliner order next week, two sources briefed on the matter told Reuters.
Chicago-based United late on Thursday invited reporters to a "historic announcement" on Tuesday at the Boeing South Carolina factory that builds the 787 at an event that will feature the airline's chief executive, Scott Kirby, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal.
Reuters reported last week that Boeing and United were close to reaching a deal.
United and Boeing both declined to comment.
Kirby told pilots attending a Denver training session in August that the carrier is planning to order more than 100 wide-body airplanes. In October, Bloomberg News reported United was nearing an order for more than 100 wide-body jets and was evaluating offers from Boeing and Airbus SE's A350.
It is not clear how many 787s United may order.
The announcement comes after Boeing suffered a
significant setback this week
when Congress failed to extend the Dec. 27 deadline for introducing a new safety standard for modern cockpit alerts for two new versions of the 737 MAX as part of a must-pass defense bill.
In October, Boeing said it was continuing to produce 787s at a low rate, and "will gradually return to five airplanes per month over time." Boeing said with strong demand and more than 400 wide-body airplanes in backlog "we anticipate higher production rates."
United had 64 Dreamliners at the end of September and will have 68 by the end of 2022.
In August, Boeing delivered its first 787 since May 2021 after facing production problems. The Federal Aviation Administration cleared the way for deliveries to resume after the agency approved Boeing's inspection and retrofit plan needed to meet certification standards in July.
Both Boeing and Airbus have reported growing demand for wide-body jets. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Deepa Babington)