United Airlines Airbus A321neo

United Airlines leases 35 more Airbus A321neo to fill 737 MAX 10 gap

Aircraft will be received from 2026 and will have Leap-1A engines, the US carrier said

United Airlines continues to seek solutions to the delay in deliveries of Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets. In its financial results report for the 1st quarter of 2024, the US carrier revealed that it had signed letters of intent to lease an additional 35 A321neo aircraft.

The aircraft will be supplied by two unnamed lessors and will have CFM Leap-1A engines. Deliveries will take place between 2026 and 2027.

The carrier also expects a drop in the number of new aircraft deliveries in 2024, from 61 narrow-body and five wide-body aircraft.

Replacing MAX 10 with MAX 9

The changes come after Boeing was unable to secure type certification for the 737 MAX 10, which is now threatened by quality problems on its assembly line.

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Since a door plug slipped off an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 on January 5, the planemaker has come under intense scrutiny from regulators.

Evidence that there are several flaws in the assembly process of its commercial aircraft has made the FAA, the US civil aviation authority, more demanding in approving Boeing aircraft.

United Airlines’ first 737 MAX 10 (Boeing)

As a result, the type certifications of the 737 MAX 7 and 10, which have already been delayed for years, could be extended even further.

Therefore, United Airlines agreed with Boeing to produce more 737 MAX 9s instead of the 737-10 between 2025 and 2027.

It also said that it will maintain the right to convert other MAX 10 orders into MAX 8 and 9, as necessary, but may reverse the options as well, if the aircraft is approved.

In January, United said it plans to order more A321neos to replace orders for the 737 MAX 10. To date, the airline has seven of these large-capacity single-aisle jets in service.


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