America's airlines adjust A350 commitments. United's order in doubt as used widebodies draw praise

A desire to cut capex commitments and keep capacity in check has resulted in airlines based in the Americas undertaking comprehensive reviews of their fleets, engaging in early retirement of aircraft and deferrals. A major focus for those airlines as they scrutinise their fleet composition is widebody aircraft.

Due to the production and delivery schedules of the Airbus A350, some airlines in the Americas are opting to defer or transfer their aircraft to their partners. Earlier in 2017 United made the boldest move in declaring it was placing heavy focus on its 35 A350 widebodies on order, and possible alternatives to the aircraft.

United’s decision to consider alternatives for its A350 order is based on an overabundance of used widebody capacity and the favourable economics those aircraft can deliver with respect to ownership costs as lease rates remain soft. Airlines in South America are taking advantage of newly forged financial partnerships to alleviate some of their A350 commitments made during better economic times.

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