< Reveal sidebar

United Nearing Deal for Additional Airbus Aircraft

According to reports, the carrier is close to securing a deal for 36 A321neo aircraft.

United’s Airbus A321neo (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Andrew Chen)

United is reportedly planning to secure over 36 Airbus A321neo aircraft through lessors. As first reported by Bloomberg with information from sources familiar with the transaction, the new deal could have United shifting its fleet focus away from predominantly Boeing to a larger mixed fleet with Airbus aircraft. 

These reports complement the already strong order book the Chicago-based carrier has with Airbus. The major carrier has 130 A321neos on order, which are currently being delivered. United’s CEO Scott Kirby has publicly stated the carrier is looking for options to build the future fleet without 737 MAX 10 jets. The airline currently has 277 of the 737 MAX 10 on order with options for 200 more.

At the moment, it is unclear what the carrier will do with these slots, but they could be switched to other variants of the MAX such as the MAX 8 and MAX 9. 

United Airlines’ Airbus A321neos have adjustable LED mood lighting (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Andrew Chen)

Kirby had previously flown to Toulouse, France earlier this year to meet with Airbus leadership. This was rumored to be over an order for additional A321neo aircraft. To increase United’s buy-in, the manufacturer went to other customers offering buybacks for A321neo delivery slots to offer to United. 

Outside Implications

With delays in delivery from Boeing, United has had to look into new options to continue the implementation of its United Next plan. The carrier is focused on offering an enhanced customer experience, which has a foundation of adding 800 new aircraft to the fleet by 2032. 

There are implications outside of the direct limitation in deliveries. The carrier has announced a scaled-back approach to pilot hiring, citing delivery delays and putting a pause on new hire classes in May and June. Initially set to receive 80 Boeing 737 MAX jets this year, the carrier is now anticipating 21 less than the initial plan.

Zach Cooke


  • Zach Cooke

    Zach’s love for aviation began when he was in elementary school with a flight sim and model planes. This passion for being in the air only intensified throughout high school when he earned his Private Pilot Certificate. He then attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning his certificates and ratings to later flight instruct and share his passion for aviation with others. He now resides in the North East living out his dream as an airline pilot.

Subscribe to AirlineGeeks' Daily Check-In

Receive a daily dose of the airline industry's top stories along with market insights right in your inbox.

Related Stories

Hainan Airlines Eyeing Airbus A330neo Order

A recent stock filing has suggested that Hainan Airlines is on track to acquire Airbus A330-900neos from Airbus. The company…

Vistara Takes Delivery of Its 70th Aircraft

Vistara, the growing Indian full-service airline, recently took delivery of its last Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from its large aircraft order…

Korean Air Orders 33 Airbus A350 Aircraft

Korean Air announced on Thursday a new fleet expansion agreement with Airbus. The airline will sign a contract to purchase…