US Airways has announced that it is deferring a number of aircraft on order from Airbus, increasing the likelihood that the European manufacturer may be able to offer early delivery slots on a range of aircraft for United Airlines as part of a major fleet renewal.
US Airways will delay deliveries of 54 narrowbody and widebody aircraft from Airbus due for delivery between 2010 and 2012 to 2013 and beyond as a move to reduce capital expenditure. Additionally, the airline has deferred delivery of its first A350XWBs until 2017 instead of 2015.
While a blow for Airbus, it could allow the manufacturer to offer early delivery slots for the A350 to United Airlines which is seeking new widebody aircraft to replace its fleet of Boeing 767s, 777-200s and 747-400s. Airbus is widely expected to offer attractive pricing and delivery slots to United to win the order, which is being contested against the Boeing 787 and 777-300ER.
United is expected to announce orders for a range of new aircraft towards the end of the year.