US carrier United Airlines has made a firm order of up to 50 new Airbus A321XLR aircraft to replace its ageing fleet.

The aircraft are expected to be delivered for deployment into international operations in 2024 and will replace the current fleet of Boeing 757-200 aircraft.

It will also expand the carrier’s operations with additional routes in Europe out of its East Coast hubs in Newark/New York and Washington.

United Airlines executive vice-president and chief commercial officer Andrew Nocella said: “The new Airbus A321XLR aircraft is an ideal one-for-one replacement for the older, less-efficient aircraft currently operating between some of the most vital cities in our intercontinental network.

“In addition to strengthening our ability to fly more efficiently, the A321XLR’s range capabilities open potential new destinations to further develop our route network and provide customers with more options to travel the globe.”

The next-generation A321XLR is equipped features, including LED lighting, larger overhead bin space and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The aircraft has reduced fuel consumption a seat of 30% and contributes to the carrier’s target to minimise its carbon emissions by 50% relative to 2005 levels by 2050.

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In addition, the airline’s Airbus A350s will not be delivered until 2027.

Last month, United Airlines signed a partnership agreement with Timeshifter to help its customers to better manage jet lag.

United operates 788 mainline aircraft with a route network, including US mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, DC.