Paris Air Show has always been a venue of surprises for the aviation industry. This year, the event witnessed the unveiling of the longest-range version of A321neo jets, the A321XLR.
According to Airbus, the new model A321XLR is fuel efficient than its counterparts, burning 30% less fuel. Its range is about 4700 nautical miles, which is 15% more than its lower version A321LR. The plane can also accommodate more fuel volume due to its rear centre tank. There is an optional addition of tanks as well. The landing gear of the newbie is modified to raise the maximum take-off weight, and the manufacturer has also streamlined the edge flaps of the wings.
Airbus expects the first A321XLR to begin flying in 2023. It can accommodate 180-220 passengers in a typical two-class configuration.
As an icing on the top, the U.S.-based aeroplane lessor Air Lease Corporation has agreed to purchase 27 of the new A321XLRs along with 23 Airbus A321neos and 50 smaller A220-300s.
We can fly from northeastern Asia into South Asia, from the Middle East to Bali or from Japan deep into Australia, and so on, Airbus chief salesman Christian Scherer said. It is, therefore, the lowest-risk investment for airlines on these kinds of routes, he said.
The news of A321XLR launch is a massive hit to Boeing which initially planned the announcement of some new midsize aircraft. Boeing could not fulfil the promise as it had to deal with the aftermath of the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft following two tragic crashes in recent months.