Airbus CEO hints on launch of ultra-long range Airbus A321XLR

Airbus CEO hints on launch of ultra-long range Airbus A321XLR

Airbus is expected to give its A321neo jet ever longer legs with a mid-2019 launch of an extended-range model dubbed the A321XLR.

The single-aisle jet would build on the ocean-hopping and continent-striding scope of the A321LR, with a range up to 8,300km (4,500nm).

JetBlue and Aer Lingus have already signed up to the A321LR for trans-Atlantic flights between the east coast of the USA and the United Kingdom, while Four Seasons tapped the A321LR as its next-generation luxury charter jet.

 

Speaking on the sidelines of the annual Airbus Innovation Days media briefing at Toulouse, France, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury tipped his hand with a coy reference to the current A321LR being the world’s longest-range single-aisle jet "for the moment."

Earlier this year Reuters reported that Airbus was pencilling in first orders for the A321XLR ahead of an expected launch at the Paris Air Show, held from June 17-24.

David Flynn travelled to Toulouse as a guest of Airbus.

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

25 comments

  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    22 May, 2019 10:04 am

    I'm not a fan of single isle planes on long flights, the drink trolley blocks the route to the toilet. Pardon the pun, it's a pain in the arse.
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  • johnaboxall

    johnaboxall

    22 May, 2019 10:05 am

    True, very true. No argument from us.
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  • RK

    Ryan K

    22 May, 2019 10:57 am

    I'm really not liking these recent changes around the world of A321s coming onto routes that were otherwise served by twin-isle aircraft.
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  • Dean

    deanr

    22 May, 2019 01:15 pm

    I really don't understand the constant hubbub about single-aisle planes versus twin-aisle planes in the context of people "expecting" them on particular routes.

    Does any individual traveller really need two aisles in the first place? From any given seat, you're only going to be accessing one of them anyway. I really don't see how flying, say, business class on a single-aisle jet like the A321 is any different to flying business class on the small upper deck of a Boeing 747. Both cabins have one aisle, one entry point, and similar seating layouts (e.g. 2-2), and that doesn't stop people from loving the 747.

    I think what's most important is the legroom and seat width in economy, or bed type in business class: that's for any plane, not just single-aisle or twin-aisle. I do understand the gripe on say, flights to Perth, but if you think about it, the issue there is that one plane has a bed, and the other plane has a reclining seat. Put a bed on a small plane like that (as many airlines have been doing for years: BA has their BA1 A318 flight, AA has the A321T with business class and first class, and I read a Philippine Airlines review on here recently which also had beds on an A321), and there's a lot less difference between the two... not to mention that the scrum around baggage claim would be much smaller with a smaller plane! Collecting baggage after an A380 flight can often be a nightmare!
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    iM

  • UpUpAndAway

    UpUpAndAway

    22 May, 2019 03:52 pm

    I think you have missed the point, most of these planes only have 8 - 12 business seats, then the rest are economy so from row 3 to 4 you need to go to the back of the plane to use the toilet. Common sense would be to let people use both the front and back toilets but that doesn't happen much from what I've seen.
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  • Dean

    deanr

    22 May, 2019 04:46 pm

    Well, people survive on short single-aisle flights like Sydney-Melbourne where visiting the lavatory is actually more rushed in that short gap between the carts being out of the aisle and commencing descent.

    Compare that to a longer flight which has much more time throughout the journey when the aisle is free and available, and it becomes a real non-event. Sure, you have to walk past a few more rows of seats if you're right up the front, but that's about it. Take solace in the fact that you're flying on something like an A321 which has wider seats in economy to enjoy while you're at your seat, versus something like a 777 or 787 where the seats are generally narrower!
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  • Aleks Popovic

    SYDINI

    23 May, 2019 01:00 am

    There’s always the option if a fit out like what Philippine Air does and put a lavatory in the middle of the aircraft as well. They have really optimised that set up on their A321.
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  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    22 May, 2019 04:40 pm

    Getting off the 380 if in Y is a nightmare. The A321T is a very polished aircraft
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  • Volkov Breg

    Volkov

    22 May, 2019 06:01 pm

    Most of these routes gonna be served by LCC or for the purpose of sustainability for airlines.

    Many of International routes are not sustainable with twin-aisle aircraft.

    Most new routes gonna be opened by these aircraft. And ticket prices would be lowered.
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  • Bernhard Zunk

    Dingdong

    23 May, 2019 12:10 am

    Just try it. I found the 8 hour A321neo flight between Sydney and Manilla very comfortable in economy. The alternative is 300 seat aircraft so oversized they can not offer daily frequency or not even having a direct flight. The A321xlr is going to open up new direct routes but also offer frequency somas to create better connections.
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  • Rotate

    Rotate

    27 May, 2019 03:35 pm

    there's a reason this website is called Australian 'Business' Traveller.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    28 May, 2019 08:28 am

    actually it's changing to becoming Executive Traveller
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  • Craig

    crwilkins

    22 May, 2019 12:47 pm

    6-7 hours on basically an A320, no thanks
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  • Morgan Judd

    Mjudd

    22 May, 2019 12:48 pm

    797 will be a game changer
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    23 May, 2019 12:52 pm

    797 = 767 MAX/NEO with 787 tech
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    22 May, 2019 06:09 pm

    This will be perfect for a Canberra Singapore flight and lots of other smaller cities links. A very good single aisle can be better than 2 aisles. In the plane you tend to be confined to your aisle even on a 380 so hard to see the argument.
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    22 May, 2019 06:13 pm

    Upupnaway American Airlines has a mid cabin toilet in a A321 so the plane itself is not the issue to you problem.
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  • Balta  Caceres

    Aircraft Lover

    22 May, 2019 11:22 pm

    I think the A-321XLR is a great option for, secondary city-pairs trans-con flights, but I do not think it is the right aircraft for intercontinental flights

    Boarding and disembarking on a wide-body aircraft is faster and easier than in a single body plane

    The luggage bins, inside a wide-body aircraft, are big enough to fit all passenger's carry-on luggage
    Wide-body aircraft are specifically designed to cross the oceans
    Inside the A-321's Economy Class cabin, there are 2 toilets for 170 passengers

    In a long-haul flight, for health reasons, it is a good idea to walk and stretch your legs every few hours, inside an A-321 there is not even enough space to stand and wait for the toilet to be free
    The narrow-body aircraft galleys are designed to offer a medium-haul onboard service and not, the expected superb long-haul Business Class service

    I think the A-321 is a great aircraft for short, medium, and long-haul trans-con flights
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  • Bernhard Zunk

    Dingdong

    22 May, 2019 11:58 pm

    I flew in Philippine Airlines new A321neo from Sydney to Manilla and back. I was quite comfortable in economy. Seats nice and wide, nice snappy inflight entertainment system. The business class folks had full recline. I’ll get business class next time. Using this aircraft Philipine Airlines can run three aircraft daily compared to QANTAS A330 managing only 3 per week. If QANTAS drops it’s frequency lower, it has nothing but big twin aisle jets oversized fir daily flights, folks will loose interest. Being defined as a quite aircraft it has relaxed curfew hours for Sydney. The flight was 8 hours with a full hot meal service followed by one hot meal snack near end of flight. This aircraft is effective, very quiet. In two class configuration there was no issue with the toilets. Two passengers had to get back to the seat with meal service trolley blocking (one me) but you waited one minute and the flight attendants simply moved to let you through. In two class configuration there just aren’t that many people needing to pee around meal time. I’ve been stuck in twin aisle with both aisles blocked waiting for both trolleys to pass.
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    23 May, 2019 06:13 am

    Aircraft lover all of those things you mention (except boarding rate) are not an inherent function of a narrow body but of the airline buying it. Cabin bins can be bigger, another toilet can be added as can larger galleys.
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  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    23 May, 2019 11:01 am

    Many prefer the spaciousness of W/B aircraft for long haul flying, although cattle class on the “Dream”liners is tantamount to live-export travel.
    It’s good to read people’s positive experiences on A321-neo for long flights especially if airlines off adequate width, pitch and toilets. The cabin design flexibility is very good.
    The 797 (if a W/B) would be great, but airline bean-counters unfortunately can’t go past N/B twins whenever they can.
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  • Balta  Caceres

    Aircraft Lover

    23 May, 2019 02:44 pm

    I understand the economics behind using a narrowbody aircraft for a long-haul flight, and I think that is fine when flying over-land because there is usually an airport nearby, to land, if needed

    Sooner or later, severe turbulence happens onboard commercial flights

    Moment of inertia is the resistance of a body to change its motion (aircraft flight path)

    The moment of inertia depends on both the mass of the body and its geometry, defined by the distance to the axis of rotation

    The moment of inertia of an airplane depends on the mass of the aircraft, and on the size of its longitudinal, horizontal and vertical axis, and it determines how steering forces on the control surfaces of its wings, elevators, and tail affect the plane's in roll, pitch, and yaw

    A decrease in the moment of inertia (narrow-body aircraft) results in an increase in the angular velocity

    Widebody aircraft handle severe turbulence more smoothly than narrowbody aircraft
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  • Jason526

    Jason526

    23 May, 2019 02:59 pm

    I think the market has already shown the preference for more direct routes and higher frequency. Single aisle air crafts also have lower requirements on the airports as well.
    Just imagine the convenience of multiple daily direct flights between ADL/CBR/OOL to Manila/Jakarta/Phuket/KL.
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  • Bevan garth Foot

    Garthie 5

    31 May, 2019 05:43 pm

    Yes one aisle doesn't cut it really.The A380, 747 etc is I think still the way to go.. One aisle is just to cramped , only good for 6,7,8 hr flights!!
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  • Balta  Caceres

    Aircraft Lover

    3 Jun, 2019 10:52 pm

    A wide-body aircraft is engineered and designed, from nose to tail, to fly across the oceans
    A narrow-body aircraft is designed to fly over land
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20 Jun, 2019 07:25 am

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