Airbus launched Monday (June 17, 2019) the A321XLR (extra-long-range) jet as the latest addition to its best-selling A320neo family at the Paris Air Show underway in Le Bourget until June 23, 2019. The A321XLR has a range of 4,700 nautical miles and will be flown as a single-aisle aircraft on longer and less frequented routes between Europe and North America, when it launches on the market in 2023. Models of the aircraft type will be painted and the cabins fitted in Hamburg before being delivered to customers in Europe and the Middle East. Airbus is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
New jet to emit 30 per cent less CO2
Its predecessor, the A321LR (Long Range) completed its maiden flight in early 2018. The successor, A321XLR, should be able to fly 15 per cent farther. Airbus also wants to break new ground in terms of CO2 emissions. “Compared to previous aircraft such as the Boeing 757, which typically fly such routes, an A321XLR saves around 30 per cent in fuel and CO2 emissions,” Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer at Airbus, told the local daily Hamburger Abendblatt.
Great worldwide resonance
A new rear centre tank for a higher volume of fuel has been installed to increase the range e.g. for flights from Europe to India. Despite its higher capacity, this tank will take up less space leaving more room in the hold for freight and baggage on long-haul routes. Airbus has already received a total of 27 orders from the U.S. Air Lease Corporation and four from Middle East Airlines for the A321XLR. During Monday’s press conference, Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Executive Chairman of the Air Lease Corporation’s Board, said: “We’ve had tremendous success with the A321LR long-range version; now with the A321XLR, we will open a whole new dimension of routes up to nine hours of flight time.” He added: “For example, you could travel from Barcelona to Chicago; from Texas or Florida to anywhere in South America – including Chile, Argentina and Brazil.”
Hamburg – world’s third largest aviation location
First held in 1909, the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget is now hailed as the largest trade fair for the aerospace industry. A large Hanseatic delegation is representing the German aviation sector in Paris where some 2,115 international exhibitors are meeting 140,000 trade visitors. Hamburg is the world’s third largest civil aviation location with around 40,000 employees in aviation. Airbus employs 12,500 staff at its largest location in Hamburg. The city is also home to over 300 SMEs in aviation apart from other giants like Lufthansa Technik and Hamburg Airport.