United Airlines plans to deploy extended range Airbus A321 single aisle aircraft to open up new transatlantic routes.

At the same time, the airline is deferring the delivery of an order for larger Airbus A350s until 2027 “to better align with the carrier’s operational needs”.

The US carrier is buying 50 A321XLR aircraft for an undisclosed sum to start replacing its fleet of ageing Boeing 757-200s.

The aim is to “further meet the airline’s operational needs by pairing the optimal aircraft with select transatlantic routes”.

The airline expects to introduce the new generation A321XLRs into international service in 2024.

The deployment will allow United “to explore serving additional destinations in Europe from its east coast hubs in Newark/New York and Washington”.

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.”