PARIS - Airbus made sure when the aviation world had its eyes on Paris, it would volley the first major salvo of the world's largest aerospace expo on its home soil. On the first day of the Paris Air Show, the European giant officially announced the A321XLR single-aisle passenger jet.
Airbus claims that the A321XLR (XLR for "xtra long range") will travel 4,000 nautical miles while burning 30% less fuel than last-gen aircraft from competitors. The aircraft, which measures 146 feet long, with a cabin measuring 113 feet, will hold between 180 and 220 passengers in a typical two-class configuration.
According to Forbes.com reporter Martin Rivers, Lebanon's MEA is poised to be the first customer to purchase an XLR.
With this added range, airlines will be able to operate a lower-cost single-aisle aircraft on longer and less heavily traveled routes – many of which can now only be served by larger and less efficient wide-body aircraft. This will enable operators to open new world-wide routes such as India to Europe or China to Australia, as well as further extending the family’s non-stop reach on direct transatlantic flights between continental Europe and the Americas.
For passengers, the A321XLR’s new Airspace cabin will offer seats in all classes with the same high-comfort as on long-haul widebody aircraft.
The changes from the A320neo include: the new permanent Rear Center Tank (RCT) for more fuel volume; a modified landing gear for an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 101 metric tonnes; and an optimized wing trailing-edge flap configuration to preserve the same take-off performance and engine thrust requirements as today’s A321neo. In particular, the new optimized RCT holds more fuel than several optional Additional Centre Tanks (ACTs) did previously, while taking up less space in the cargo hold – thus freeing-up underfloor volume for additional cargo and baggage on long range routes.