Back in 2010 Airbus gave American Airlines a ‘most favoured customer’ deal. It means that if Airbus sells a cheaper A320 than it sold to American, it has to refund American the difference. United claims this has stopped it buying more A320’s cheaply. However the deal is soon to expire.
United which has ordered 100 737-10 Max aircraft says its working with Boeing to make it a better aircraft than the disappointment of the 737-900 series.
The 739 is not without its problems – most airports have to use a tail stand to stop the aircraft tipping backwards while loading, which can be a ‘hair raising experience’ if not done properly. The 739 also needs much longer runways to take off ‘long and slow’ because the tail otherwise risks hitting the ground. The 739 is also considered considerably less economic than the smaller 738.
So United is in effect saying to Airbus, find us a way to get us to buy your aircraft. Even more marked was a statement that it would show no specific brand loyalty – it would buy what it needed from whoever made it.
Meanwhile United will keep buying second hand A320’s from the Chinese market as they come available.