UAL buying luxury jets

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New York--UAL Corp., parent of United Airlines, has wired $11.25 million to a French airplane manufacturer Dassault Aviation as a down payment on an order for 30 business jets. The luxury jets, which cost about $20 million apiece, are part of a new business for UAL: selling shares of business aircraft to corporations, celebrities and other wealthy individuals. The plan calls for United to buy fleets of eight different types of business jets, including ones built by U.S. manufacturers, at a cost of $7 million to $40 million each. United announced its intention to operate private jets in May. The investment has sparked the ire of Congress because United is planning to cut 20,000 jobs and is eligible, along with other airliners, for $10 billion in federal loan guarantees to help the airline industry deal with the ongoing downturn resulting from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
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