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 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 A321XLRs will replace United’s Boeing 757-200 fleet.
The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step in the A320neo/A321neo family of aircraft, meeting market requirements for increased range and payload in a single-aisle aircraft, and creating more value for the airlines by enabling economically viable service on longer routes than any comparable aircraft model. It will allow service from the U.S. East Coast to a much larger selection of European destinations.
The A321XLR will deliver an unprecedented narrow-body airliner range of up to 4,700nm, with 30% lower fuel consumption per seat compared with previous-generation competitor jets. It will have a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 101 metric tonnes, while takeoff, climb, and flight performance will change little from the A321neo.
The A321XLR will be operated by the same crew, powered by the same engines and have the same cabin as the A321neo, with more than 90 percent 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 the increased MTOW, increased braking capability, higher tire speed, and additional flap and slat configurations.
With the Airbus Cabin Flex fuselage, the A321XLR will accommodate a variety of seating classes and configurations suitable for longer flights.
At the end of October 2019, the A320neo Family had accumulated more than 7,000 firm orders from over 110 customers worldwide.
United Airlines made this announcement:
The next-generation A321XLR offers customers an elevated inflight experience and features modern amenities including LED lighting, larger overhead bin space and Wi-Fi connectivity. Additionally, the new aircraft lowers overall fuel burn per seat by about 30% when compared to previous generation aircraft, enabling United to further minimize its environmental impact as the carrier moves towards its ambitious goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 50% relative to 2005 levels by 2050.
United plans to begin taking delivery of the Airbus A321XLR in 2024.
Additionally, the airline will defer the delivery of its order of Airbus A350s until 2027 to better align with the carrier’s operational needs.