United Airlines to switch to Airbus A321XLR from Boeing’s 757 jets in 2024

on Dec 4, 2019
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
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  • United Airlines Holdings placed an order for 50 A321XLR Airbus long-range jets.
  • United's current Boeing 757 jets will be replaced in 2024.
  • Boeing 757 is no longer in production with the manufacturer focusing on twin-aisle NMA.
  • Multiple U.S carriers have recently shifted to Airbus.
  • Airbus stock lost over 8% in the last week following Trump's tariff hike on European aircraft.

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The battle between the American multinational airplane manufacturer, Boeing, and its staunch European competitor, Airbus, is not a new one. In the recent development, United Airlines Holdings announced late on Tuesday that it has placed an order for 50 A321XLR Airbus long-range jets for flights between Europe and the U.S East Coast.

Boeing 757 Is No Longer In Production

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As per the announcement, United Airlines is to switch 53 of its Boeing 757-200 with the 50 new long-range Airbus jets. As of 2024, the company added, the new airplanes will fly to new destinations including Porto, Portugal. With an end to United’s 757 jets’ lifespan, the airline has decided to shift to Airbus since the large single-aisle model is no longer in production at Boeing Co.

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Boeing had previously announced that it intends to raise investment in an all-new twin-aisle jet that it was calling NMA. Due to the two fatal 737 Max jets crashes within a short period of five months that led to the aircraft’s global grounding, however, the American multinational airplane manufacturer has postponed its investment into NMA till 2020.

United’s CEO Andrew Nocella commented on Boeing’s potential launch of NMA next year that owing to the long-held business relations with the American manufacturer, United Airlines can be expected to welcome Boeing’s new offering once production goes live in 2020.

Multiple U.S Carriers Have Shifted To Airbus Recently

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United, however, is not the only airline that has made a recent switch to Airbus. With JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, and Spirit Airlines, all opting for Airbus A320neo-family jets, it is evident that Boeing is indeed losing its market share that has led to the Trump Administration retaliating fiercely against unfair European subsidies to Airbus SE.

According to United Airlines, the Airbus A321XLR long-range jet is preferable as it burns 30% less fuel per seat. The company also stated on Tuesday that it has placed a sizeable order for larger-body Airbus A350 jets as well. However, the delivery is likely to be delayed until 2027 when the airplanes will be needed.

After President Trump’s announcement of a tariff hike on European aircraft, United is the second U.S carrier that has placed an order for A321XLR. Airbus was performing optimally in the stock market in 2019. Having started the year at €85, share prices noted a year-to-date high of around €136 earlier in November. Following Trump’s tariff hike and the rising tension, however, the stock has dropped back to €124 in the last week.

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