United Airlines Holdings Inc announced it has placed an order for 50 A321XLR jets from Airbus SE which will fly between the U.S East Coast and Europe. With this United Airlines has become the latest U.S. airliner to purchase passenger jets from Airbus rather than Boeing.
United Airlines aims to replace 53 Boeing 757-200 with Airbus’ long-range A321XLR jets from 2024, said the Chicago-based planemaker.
Boeing’s 757 planes will reach the end of their lifespan in ten years time. Boeing Co is not building any more of these large single-aisle model. Instead, Boeing is considering building a new twin-aisle plane, provisionally known as the NMA, but so far has delayed a decision to launch it until 2020.
Boeing is currently grappling with issues revolving around its grounded 737 MAX jets following two fatal crashes which killed scores of passengers.
According to Andrew Nocella, United’s chief operating officer, “the airline has worked closely with Boeing on the potential new aircraft and is still open to orders if the planemaker decides to move forward with developing the NMA”.
Many U.S. carriers including JetBlue Airways Corp, American Airlines Group Inc and Spirit Airlines Inc have placed orders for Airbus A320neo-family jets.
Airbus’ A321XLR provides a 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft, said United.
United has also ordered the larger A350 widebody jets but stated, it has decided to defer the delivery until they are needed in 2027.