In an order worth billions of Dollars, US-based United Airlines has ordered 50 A321XLR aircraft. The total cost of the fleet is $7 billion but the exact amount to be paid by United is unknown. The new aircraft are expected to replace United Airlines' aging Boeing 757-200 fleet. The deal makes United the second US airlines to buy the new aircraft after fresh US tariffs on Airbus.
The A321XLR is the newest aircraft by Airbus. It has a narrow body which is supposed to be incredibly fuel-efficient. The aircraft was announced earlier this year and four US airlines have ordered them by now -- American Airlines has placed an order for 50 aircraft, JetBlue for 13, Frontier Airlines for 18 and United Airlines has ordered 50.
The new A321XLR also has significantly more range than the Boeing 757-200. According to reports, the new aircraft will open up brand new markets for the company. Officials from the United said that the new Airbus aircraft will be used for flights to destinations such as Porto, Portugal, and other potential new destinations. United Airlines has also ordered another 100 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft which it plans to re-configure with premium layouts.
Some of the Boeing 757s in United's fleet are as many as 22-years-old and the parent company is no longer producing the model.
The A321XLR which will enter service by 2021 was created to compete with the new Boeing New Midsize Airplane (NMA) which was designed for the middle market segment. The Boeing NMA is a composite, seven-abreast twin-aisle aircraft with an elliptical cross-section and could be named the Boeing 797. According to the timeline provided by Boeing, in 2019 it will decide whether it wishes to offer the plane on the market and based on that decision will launch it in 2020.