Airbus have announced the formal launch of the Airbus A321XLR. With a range of 8,500 kilometres or 4,600 nautical miles, it is the longest ranged variant in the Airbus narrowbody line up.

This means it could fly from certain points Europe to the west coast of the United States. With excellent economics, this could present even more opportunities for smaller markets to connect.

Aer Lingus A321XLR

Aer Lingus have ordered six of the new Airbus A321XLR, with Spain’s Iberia ordering eight. As part of the same group, there are economies of scale in ordering together. First deliveries are expected in 2023.

According to the CEO of IAG, Willie Walsh, this will enable more flexibility for the Dublin and Madrid hubs. Opportunities to expand will be increased for both carriers.

IAG and the Boeing 737 MAX

An unexpected piece of news out of Paris was a letter of intent from IAG to take 200 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The IAG airlines operate Airbus narrowbodies on short and medium haul services, so this is a big change to switch over to Boeing.

Flight Global report there will be a mix of MAX -8 and MAX -10s for delivery from 2023-2027. Named airlines to receive them will be LEVEL, Vueling and the British Airways operation at London Gatwick.

Overall Thoughts

The Paris air show has certainly proven to be interesting so far. Not only the long rumoured launch of the Airbus A321XLR but also a bunch of orders. In addition to Iberia and Aer Lingus, the A321XLR has been ordered by Cebu Pacific, Middle East Airlines, Saudia and lessor Air Lease.

Nobody really expected to see any orders for the Boeing 737 MAX at this air show, so it is a huge vote of confidence for Boeing to land the letter of intent from IAG. The old girl ain’t dead yet!

What do you think of all of this activity? Will you be happy to travel long-haul on a narrowbody aircraft? What about IAG ordering the MAX? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Aer Lingus and Iberia renders by FIXION via Airbus.
Boeing 737 MAX by pjs2005 via Wikimedia Commons.