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United defers A350 deliveries to 2027

United Airlines is deferring its order for 45 Airbus A350-900s to 2027.

The move would "better align" with its operational needs, says the Star Alliance carrier, alongside a separate order for 50 A321XLRs.

United first signed an order for 25 A350-900s in March 2010, firming up a commitment made in December 2009. It then adjusted the order to 35 A350-1000s in June 2013, converting to the larger model and adding 10 aircraft.

However, the order for the 35 -1000s was converted back to the -900s, and the backlog was further raised to 45 aircraft by September 2017. These were scheduled for delivery from late 2022 through 2027.

At that time, chief financial officer Andrew Levy told employees in a letter that the A350s will replace 777-200ERs, with the oldest 777-200ER to be 25 years old by 2023.

United's latest order for 50 A321XLRs will replace its older Boeing 757-200s, with the aim of expanding its transatlantic network.

Prior to the announcement, United's orderbook consisted solely of Boeing 737 Max jets.

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