A Landmark Day For United Airlines And Airbus
By taking delivery of this first Airbus A321neo, United Airlines is acquiring an Airbus-produced plane on delivery for the first time since 2002.
Registered as N44501, the plane was handed over to United Airlines in Hamburg, Germany.
Interestingly, United Airlines did not opt for the iconic eyeliner paint around the cockpit windshield that several companies have opted for.
The A321neo Plan
United Airlines will initially view the deployment of its Airbus A321neo from Chicago to Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale.
The A321neo is thus expected to enter service from December onwards, following a familiarisation period as crew get to know their new narrowbody.
United’s A321neo Fleet To Grow
United Airlines will heavily rely on the Airbus A321neo to drive its operations forward. This is evident through the 100+ units on order for the type.
Initially, the company had a deal with Airbus to acquire just over 50. However, only a matter of weeks ago, United Airlines increased this.
As part of the increase, the carrier committed to 60 units with options for a further 40. The newly ordered aircraft will be delivered between 2028 and 2030.
These jets would complement the existing batch of A321neos slated for delivery between 2023 and 2027.
A Look At The United Airlines Fleet
United Airlines’ fleet is enormous. However, it has undergone substantial change recently.
The airline has 918 in-service aircraft across various aircraft types, per the latest fleet data. However, its orders are comprised of close to 1,000, crossing over the 1,000 mark if options are included.
When measured by active units, its most prominent fleet types are the 737-800 with 141, 737-900ER with 135, A320-200 with 91, and A319-100 with 79, followed by the 737-8 and 737-9.
With the vast majority being highlighted as narrowbodies, the next-generation A321neo will significantly replace these ageing fleet types and bring a new era of streamlining and efficiency to the major U.S. carrier.