Today, Airbus has formally launched the A321XLR, which is the longest interval with a one-time plan ever . The aircraft will be available from 2023 and will have 15% more range than the A321LR.
This marks the further development of the A321 family. The aircraft used to be very popular with airlines for regional flights. But they didn't stop there:
- Airbus launched the A321neo (new engine operation), which has an expanded range and is more fuel efficient
- . Then, the Airbus introduced the A321LR (long range), which has an extended range of up to 4,600 miles
- Now introduces the Airbus A321XLR (extra long range), which gets a wide range increase, and can fly up to 5400 miles nonstop
Airbus touts that the A321XLR brings 30% lower fuel combustion per seat than previous generation competitor aircraft (which I guess refers to 757).
Now, if the Airbus A321XLR is already known, that is because the aircraft manufacturer was not exactly tight about the introduction of the aircraft. While this is their formal announcement, they've been talking for months on how they plan to introduce an even longer serial version of the A321.
This plane will allow markets that could never have worked before. The A321XLR is a low cost single aircraft that can be used for longer and less heavily traveled routes, many of which just would not be economical with larger aircraft.
Airbus notes that this will allow operators to open new worldwide routes, such as India to Europe or China to Australia, as well as expanding the A321 capabilities across the Atlantic.
Airbus focused on designing the A321XLR so it has much in common with the rest of the A320neo family. Where does the extra spectrum come from? A321XLR:
- Has a permanent rear fuel tank for more fuel; This involves more fuel than several optional extra center tanks that previously did, while taking up less space in the load, giving more space for luggage and cargo
- Has a modified landing gear for an increased maximum starting weight of 101 tons  Has an optimized flip-flop configuration to maintain the same performance and engine power requirements as today's A321neo
The A321XLR is a fantastic new aircraft that will be able to serve as many markets that were previously not practical, especially those of 4,600-5,400 miles .
So far, Airbus and Boeing have mainly had competing products, although this is an area where Boeing does not yet have a competitor. While the 737 MAX can compete with the A321neo, they do not have a version of the aircraft with this type of range.
There are rumors of Boeing finally introducing "797" (as it is known at the moment), which would be a competitor, but who knows how far it can be.
I can't wait to see which airlines are ordering this plane – I'm sure it will be popular. There are rumors that Americans may be interested in the A321XLR, and also rumors that JetBlue can convert some of its existing A321LR orders to A321XLR.
What do you do with the A321XLR?