United Airlines has placed a firm order for 50
Airbus A321XLR aircraft as it begins to phase out older models and
launches an expansion of transatlantic routes from its key U.S.
hubs in Newark/New York and Washington, D.C.
United plans to take
delivery of the first A321XLR in 2024 and expects to begin
international service with the aircraft in 2025.
“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 Andrew Nocella, United’s Executive
Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “In addition to
strengthening our ability to fly more efficiently, the A321XLR
opens potential new destinations to further develop our route
network and provide customers with more options to travel the
The A321XLR will be
powered by the same engines and have the same cabin as the
A321neo, with more than 90% commonality.
Combining the A321neo’s
two rear center fuel tanks into one adds fuel capacity and reduces
structural weight. Other significant changes include structural
reinforcements and modified landing gears for an increase in the
maximum takeoff weight (MTOW),
increased braking capability, higher tire speed, and additional
flap and slat configurations.
The A321XLR will have a range of up to 4,700nm,
lower fuel consumption per seat, and MTOW of 101 metric tonnes.
“We are delighted to be re-United with our
friends in Chicago and thank them for their trust. The selection
of the A321XLR by the leadership of United Airlines is a ringing
endorsement of the range, payload, and fuel efficiency that Airbus
incorporated into this state-of-the-art aircraft,” said Christian
Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “The exceptional
versatility and performance of the A321XLR enable new operational
efficiencies that flow to the airline’s bottom line.”
With the Airbus Cabin Flex fuselage, the A321XLR
will be able to accommodate a variety of seating classes and configurations
suitable for longer flights.