MIAMI – Airbus presented the A321XLR, the latest addition to the A320neo family, at the 2019 Paris Air Show. The type found considerable success at the show in the French capital.
Many companies immediately showed great interest in this new aircraft, which covers the market share left by Boeing with the provision of production of its 757 aircraft.
A New Factory
The new assembly line for the newcomer is located in Saint Nazaire, where the start of production is scheduled for 2021, with first deliveries set for 2022. With the closure of the production line of the super-jumbo, ie the A380, whose last delivery is scheduled for 2021, for Emirates Airlines (EK), the company will be able to dedicate itself to the production of the A321XLR.
In the Saint Nazaire plant, four lines are dedicated to the production of the A320neo family and the fifth for the A321xlr; the new production line will build the front-end fuselage of the A321XLR. Before the pandemic, the Neo family’s production ratio was 90 planes per month, now 63. The employees who worked on the A380 line have been moved to the A321XLR line.
The factory, which housed 3200 workers, had to cut 386 positions. However, with the recent announcement, many of these jobs will be saved.
20% more efficient than the Neo family, the A321XLR has a range of 8700km (4700nmi). The aircraft shares the same fuselage as the A321neo LR, but it has the rear center tank instead. Its MTOW weight is equal to 101 tons.
As for the engine of the aircraft, there is still no word from Airbus, but it is thought that the available engines will be either CFMI CFM Leap-1A or the Geared Turbofan Pratt and Whitney PW1100G Pure Power family. The aircraft can carry 180 to 220 passengers, depending on the type of configuration.
The A321XLR has a total of 450 orders by as many as 22 different companies, and two leasing companies. The aircraft is set to enter service in 2023.
Featured image: Airbus