United Airlines has converted an order for 35 Airbus A350-1000s to 45 of the smaller -900s, updating a previously existing deal made at the 2013 Paris Air Show.

The A350 XWB order will replace older, less efficient aircraft, supporting future growth of the Chicago-based airline, Airbus said in a statement.

“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,” United CFO Andrew Levy said. “The combination of the range performance and efficiencies make the A350 an attractive aircraft for United.”

Deliveries of the aircraft are being deferred until late 2022 through 2027. According to United EVP and CFO Andrew Levy, delivery of the A350-900s will be aligned to potential retirements, with the -900 being "a good replacement aircraft for the Boeing 777-200ER fleet," which will begin to reach 25 years of age in 2022.

In June, United converted 100 of its previous Boeing 737 MAX orders to the new -10 variant.  The conversion made United the largest single 737 MAX 10 customer.

Linda Blachly linda.blachly@penton.com