United Airlines Holdings declared Tuesday a purchase order for 50 Airbus SE A321XLR jets to fly between the U.S. East Coast and Europe, becoming the latest U.S. airline to strike a deal for the European planemaker’s new passenger jet.
The long-range A321XLR jets will replace United’s 53 Boeing 757-200 planes beginning in 2024, the Chicago-based plane manufacturer said, flying to cities like Porto, Portugal, and different potential new destinations.
United’s 757 planes will attain the end of their lifespan in a decade, and Boeing will not be building any more of the massive single-aisle model.
Instead, the U.S. plane manufacturer has been contemplating a new twin-aisle plane, provisionally called the NMA, however, it has delayed a launch decision until next year while it manages the ongoing worldwide grounding of its 737 MAX jets following two deadly accidents.
United’s chief operating officer Andrew Nocella told reporters the airline has labored closely with Boeing on the potential new plane and is still open to purchase orders if the plane manufacturer decides to move ahead with building
In the meantime, U.S carriers, including American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Spirit Airways, have agreed on orders for Airbus A320neo-family jets.
Among the advantages of the A321XLR is a 30% lower fuel burn per seat in comparison with previous generation planes, United said.
United has ordered the larger A350 widebody jets but stated it is holding the delivery of those jets until they’re required in 2027.
Its A321XLR order is the second for a U.S. carrier following duties that the USA is imposing on a European-made plane.