A321XLR, which stands for Extra Long Range, or ultra-long range, able to fly without refueling more than 7 & nbsp; 500 km with 244 passengers on board. Airlines will have unique long-haul capabilities that were not possible with traditional wide-body airliners.
The A321XLR has already attracted many — from budget giants like IndiGo and Wizz Air to traditional full-service carriers like American Airlines and Air Canada.
One of the first customers of the A321XLR and at the same time one of the largest to date. American Airlines signed a contract with Airbus back at the 2019 Paris Air Show, days after the type was first unveiled, and ordered a total of 50 aircraft. Later, 30 of them were converted due to the transfer of supplies to the A321neo, but the remaining 20 are impressive nonetheless.
Delivery of the A321XLR has been delayed until the second quarter of 2024, despite American's high hopes for a firm delivery schedule to have all 50 aircraft in the fleet by 2025. Predictions are early, but the first aircraft are expected to arrive immediately after certification.
American intends to put the A321XLR on routes from the US to continental Europe, replacing aging aircraft retired from service during the pandemic.
< h3>United Airlines
United Airlines also ordered 50 refurbished Airbuses. The order was placed in December 2019 and the carrier was expected to receive the first aircraft in 2024. Obviously, due to delays, deliveries will be delayed for several months. This order is part of United's replacement of a fleet of 40 Boeing 757–200 aircraft with an average age of 26 years.
United Airlines is going to use the XLR on routes from New York and Washington to Europe.< /p>
IndiGo, the largest customer of the A320neo family, does not miss the opportunity to purchase the A321XLR. The Indian budget giant has signed a contract for an undisclosed number of aircraft as part of its super order for 300 jets in 2019. With a total of 386 A321neos on order, IndiGo has the potential to become Airbus' largest customer in the coming years.
The carrier has not yet announced where it is going to fly by plane, but they say that these will be the capitals of Western Europe, namely Paris and London, as well as the Far East — Tokyo and Seoul.
Next in order of size — Qantas. Closing the deal at the same Paris Air Show 2019, the Australian air carrier placed ten new orders and transferred another 26 from previous commitments. While the airline has since announced delays in some deliveries, this is not the case with the new XLR. So far, the original supply chain for 2024 and a couple of years ahead remains in place.
The A321XLR will be able to fly routes such as Cairns – Tokyo and Melbourne – Singapore, which existing single-aisle aircraft cannot do, is changing the economics of many potential routes to Asia, making them not only physically feasible, but also financially attractive.
Testing Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia X also ordered 30 A321XLRs last August. At the same time, the company asked to postpone the delivery of 78 copies of another medium-class liner — A330neo, by which it is the largest Airbus. There are no A321XLRs on the pending list yet.
Private Equity Indigo Partners has also placed a large order for an A321XLR for its member airlines, namely Wizz Air, Jetsmart and Frontier.
Promising Hungarian budget airline Wizz Air is expanding not only its bases and routes, but also its fleet and flight range. The carrier ordered 20 A321XLRs. They are scheduled to be delivered starting in 2023, and Wizz intends to fly them to new destinations for seven to eight hours, as well as use them on existing ones. 239 seats will be installed in the salon — the same number as in their A321neo.
Argentine low-cost airline JetSmart has been allocated 12 new liners. They will open many routes both to North America and throughout the South American continent.
Finally, US low-cost carrier Frontier will deploy 18 A321XLRs. The carrier is considering operating transatlantic flights, becoming the first US low-cost carrier to do so on a narrow-body aircraft.
Air Arabia placed an order for 120 different aircraft from Airbus at the Dubai Air Show last November. Among them — 20 orders for the new A321XLR. The range of the new model will allow the Emirati low-cost airline to reach destinations in Asia, Europe, Africa and even parts of South and North America.
Another airline Southeast Asia who wants to try their hand at the medium and long haul market. VietJet has a firm order for 15 A321XLR aircraft and plans to operate them on routes to Australia.
Hybrid carrier JetBlue has ordered 13 A321XLR aircraft, converting existing orders to other narrow-body aircraft. The New York-based airline intends to use XLR to expand its transatlantic service from its core cities of Boston and New York.
Santiago-based low-cost airline SKY Airline has ordered ten A321XLRs. The new ratio of flight range and financial capabilities will allow the second largest airline in Chile to expand the geography of flights in North America.
On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the Philippine company Cebu Pacific also ordered ten such aircraft . In the Middle East, Flynas plans to receive ten more aircraft, and Lebanese Middle East Airlines, one of the first customers of the A321XLR, — four. IAG “bought” eight for Iberia and six for Aer Lingus. Czech Airlines has replaced seven A320neos with an XLR model.