United Airlines has increased the number of A350 XWB aircraft it will bring into its fleet, updating and expanding its previously existing order for 35 A350-1000 to 45 A350-900 widebody aircraft to replace older, less efficient aircraft, supporting future growth at the airline. These aircraft will be the first Airbus widebodies to join United’s fleet.

The A350-900 is the cornerstone member of the A350XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) family. The twin-aisle airliner typically seats 325 passengers in a standard three-class configuration and features aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these technologies translate into a 25 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.

 “For the past year, United has done a complete review to ensure that we have the right long-term fleet strategy, and it was clear that the A350 aligns with our replacement needs and our network,” said Andrew Levy, Chief Financial Officer of United Airlines. “The combination of the range performance and efficiencies make the A350 an attractive aircraft for United.”

“This updated and expanded order is a strong reaffirmation of the A350 XWB Family,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “United and Airbus have had a long and strong partnership for many years, and we’ve worked together to ensure their requirements for the future are met, if not exceeded. The airline’s decision to grow its widebody fleet with, for the first time, a widebody model from Airbus, shows they know that the A350 will meet their financial and performance demands, while pleasing their customers who will enjoy the quietest and most comfortable cabin in its class.”

The 100th A350 was delivered at the end of July 2017, some 30 months after the first delivery in December 2014. At end August, Airbus has recorded a total of 848 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide.