Which US Airlines Are Expecting New Aircraft Fleets This Decade?

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US airlines spent the last few years on an ordering spree with plans to open new routes, modernize their fleets, and improve their brand. As such, plenty of airlines are expecting brand new aircraft fleets this decade. Here are some of the most hotly awaited new aircraft coming to airlines this decade.

Trump says he wants aid for airlines
Both United and American have extensive order books, with both expecting some new fleets this decade. Photo: Getty Images

Alaska Airlines

Based out of Seattle, Alaska Airlines is one of the leading airlines out of the West Coast of the United States. The airline used to have an all-Boeing fleet consisting entirely of 737s, but after merging with Virgin America, the airline took over its first Airbus aircraft– all narrowbodies.

Alaska Airlines currently has, on order, two brand new fleet types. There are 30 Airbus A320neo commitments taken over after the airline merged with Virgin America. From Boeing, the airline has a firm order for 32 Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft on order.

Alaska 737 MAz
A rendering of the 737 MAX in the old Alaska Airlines livery. Photo: Boeing

Alaska Airlines is weighing its future fleet plans, with the carrier showing a preference for going back to its basics with a Boeing fleet. The A320neo order is cancelable. Moreover, the airline’s CEO has no reservations about the 737 MAX and is awaiting the type’s arrival in the fleet. Alaska may also increase its MAX order, though that is not yet confirmed.

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Alaska Airlines inherited its Airbus fleet and orders from a merger. Photo: Getty Images

American Airlines

Dallas-based American Airlines is expecting a lot of new aircraft. The airline is focusing its future with the Airbus A320neo and 737 MAX family in the narrowbody segment, and the 787 when it comes to widebodies, though the airline does still have Boeing 777-200ERs and 777-300ERs in its fleet.

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More 787s will be coming to American Airlines this decade. Photo: Getty Images

While American is expecting more A321neos, 737 MAXs, and 787 Dreamliner, one new fleet that is entering the carrier’s fleet from 2023 onwards are Airbus A321XLRs. These planes, taking a similar position in American’s fleet as the Boeing 757s, which American recently retired, and unlock new long-haul routes such as to Casablanca in Morocco.

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American Airlines A321XLR
American Airlines has big plans for the Airbus A321XLRs. Photo: Airbus

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines is expecting new Airbus aircraft this decade. The Atlanta-based carrier has over 240 aircraft on order, and a fair number of those will be a brand new type in the carrier’s fleet.

In the coming weeks, Delta expects to take its first Airbus A220-300. This will complement the airline’s smaller A220-100, which is a passenger and airline favorite. Delta also has 100 firm A321neo aircraft on order. These planes, which will feature a brand new premium narrowbody domestic cabin, are also hotly awaited. The rest of Delta’s planes on order are Airbus A350s, A330neos A220s, and A321ceos.

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Delta is putting a new seat on its Airbus A321neos in first class. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Frontier Airlines

Ultra-low-cost-carrier Frontier Airlines is an all-Airbus A320ceo and A320neo fleet. The carrier prefers a single family of aircraft since it allows for greater operational efficiency.

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Frontier A320neo
Frontier Airlines is an all-Airbus operator. Photo: Airbus

As such, Frontier is expecting A321neo aircraft. In particular, the carrier has 18 A321XLRs on order. The XLRs will allow Frontier to open up new long-haul routes that A320ceo and A320neo aircraft currently cannot serve.

Frontier A321XLR
The airline has 18 A321XLRs on order. Photo: Airbus

Hawaiian Airlines

Based out of Honolulu, Hawaiian Airlines is the number one airline to, from, and within the state of Hawaii. A favorite tourist destination for many, the airline positions itself as a premium leisure carrier. It has the longest domestic scheduled route between Honolulu and Boston, though that is currently suspended.

The only new aircraft type Hawaiian is expecting 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Though these aircraft are expected at the carrier from 2022 onwards, the airline has already released some juicy details about the aircraft, including an all-new lie-flat business class product.

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Hawaiian Dreamliner
Hawaiian Airlines will not take the Boeing 787 until 2022 at the earliest. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

JetBlue

JetBlue has an ambitious post-crisis network plan, and, as such, the carrier is expecting to take over 100 brand new aircraft, including new fleet types. Currently operating A320ceo, A321neo, and E190 aircraft, the airline expects three exciting new aircraft types to enter its fleet in the next decade.

JetBlue A220-300
The A220-300 will replace JetBlue’s E190s. Photo: Airbus

On the smaller aircraft side, JetBlue has 70 Airbus A220-300 aircraft on order. JetBlue will use these aircraft to replace the Embraer E190s. However, more exciting in terms of international long-haul growth, JetBlue has 26 long-haul international A321neos coming. This is split evenly between A321LR and A321XLRs. The A321LRs will be flying to London, with a first look at the exciting new aircraft released not too long ago.

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JetBlue’s new A321LR is coming together! Photo: JetBlue

Southwest Airlines

One of America’s largest carriers, Southwest Airlines, operates an all-737 fleet. With over 700 aircraft in its fleet, the airline also has a sizable order book of over 200 MAX aircraft with options to take on more.

While the carrier’s MAX 8s are currently grounded, Southwest Airlines is also expecting 30 brand new 737 MAX 7 aircraft. The smaller variant of the MAX family, this jet rolled out back in early 2018 and was scheduled at Southwest in 2019, but the global grounding of the type has put the brakes on MAX deliveries.

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Southwest boeing 737 max grounded getty images
Southwest Airlines is eagerly awaiting the return of the MAX. Photo: Getty Images

Spirit Airlines

Known for its iconic yellow fleet of Airbus A320ceos and A320neos, Spirit Airlines is an ultra-low-cost-carrier that, like Frontier, operates a single type of aircraft to reduce operational inefficiencies.

Spirit Airlines has two brand new fleets coming in this decade as part of the nearly 130 new jets the airline is expecting. This includes the A319neo – of which Spirit Airlines is one of the largest customers, and the A321neo. Both of these aircraft will complement the airline’s existing A320ceo family of aircraft.

Spirit A320neo
Spirit Airlines is another all-A320 operator in the US. Photo: Airbus

United Airlines

Chicago-based United Airlines has over 200 aircraft on order, most of these are from Boeing. Operating both Airbus and Boeing jets, the airline spent the last few years building up a large widebody fleet driven mostly by 777-300ERs and 787 Dreamliners.

United Airbus A350
United Airlines does not plan on taking the A350 until 2027 at the soonest. Photo: Airbus

United is awaiting 100 Boeing 737 MAX 10s, regarding which there are plenty of possibilities, though nothing has been explicitly confirmed yet. On the Airbus front, United also has 45 A350s on order, but the first of these are not expected until 2027. Coming sooner are 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft that are slated to fly out of Newark and Washington-Dulles primarily.

United A321XLR
United Airlines has ordered 50 A321XLRs. Photo: Airbus

Which airlines are missing?

Sun Country Airlines and Allegiant Air are two carriers that are not expecting brand new types of aircraft. While they may order aircraft in the future, neither of these carriers have ordered new fleets. Both operate single fleet types with Sun Country going for the 737s and Allegiant for the A320 family. Both of these families also have next-generation models (the MAX and A320neo) that could be potential order options.

Which of these aircraft are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments!

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