United Airlines announced that it has inked a multibillion-dollar deal to purchase 50 new aircraft from Airbus to replace its aging fleet of Boeing planes.
The U.S. carrier said Tuesday that it has made an order for 50 new Airbus A321XLR planes in order to begin retiring its existing fleet of Boeing 757-200 aircraft with expectations to start introducing the European-made long-range jets into its international service by 2024.
The new planes, it said, will allow it to fly to additional European destinations from East Coast hubs New York and Washington.
"The new Airbus A321XLR aircraft is an ideal one-for-one replacement for the older, less-efficient aircraft currently operating between some of the most vital cities in our intercontinental network," said United Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Nocella. "In addition to strengthening our ability to fly more efficiently, the A321XLR's range capabilities open potential new destinations to further develop our network and provide customers with more options to travel the globe."
The deal is valued at around $7.1 billion for the single-aisle plane that is similar to the Boeing 757-200, which went out of production over a decade ago, Bloomberg reported.
The airline also said it will defer delivery of its previous order for Airbus A350s until 2027 to "better align" with its needs.
The new aircraft is reported to lower overall fuel burn per seat by 30 percent compared to previous generations of the plan, which United said will aid it in minimizing its environmental impact as it attempts to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.
Airbus said Wednesday that they are "delighted" by the deal that is a further endorsement of the aircraft's range, payload, and fuel efficiency.
"The exceptional versatility and performance of the A321XLR enable new operational efficiencies that flow to the airline's bottom line," Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer said in a statement.
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