Coverage by Chris Sloan
PARIS — Airbus continues building sales momentum for its recently launched A321XLR, as International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced an order for 14 units, eight for Spain’s Iberia, and six to Ireland’s Aer Lingus.
The order reaffirms Airbus’ relationship with IAG, in which it extends to an active fleet of over 400 Airbus aircraft.
These aircraft will benefit Aer Lingus on the new routes to be launched between the US East Coast and Canada, with Iberia benefitting from further trasatlantic expansion to the Caribbean and Africa.
For IAG, this will be a step towards bringing costs down compared to the far larger aircraft it operates. For example, Iberia and Aer Lingus collectively operate larger aircraft such as the Boeing 757, Airbus A330, A340 and A350.
Being able to offer this smaller aircraft will then offer more competitive fares.
With this order, it now means that 70 units of the aircraft type have been purchased since the start of the show yesterday.
This could mean that by the end of the trading week, we could see the A321XLR have a strong start with around 100 units sold.
In the meantime, more work is to be done to ensure that Airbus gets over the line with this new aircraft.
The more orders it secures for this variant, the more damage it can then provide to the new NMA programme that Boeing will bring forward within five years.
Even then, the boot is stuck in the ground for Boeing already as deliveries of the XLR are due to begin in 2023, with the NMA announcement being as far as 2025.