Airbus has launched a very long-range version of the A321: the A321 XLR, a version with an even longer range than that of the A321 LR (Long Range), the long-range version of the A321neo medium-range model. The A321 XLR will be available in 2023.
With a maximum take-off weight of 101 tonnes (compared with 97 tonnes for the A321 LR), this aircraft will carry between 180 and 200 passengers on flights of over 10 hours, thanks to the addition of an extra fuel tank with a capacity of almost 13,000 litres.
An aircraft perfectly suited to long-range, low-cost airlines, or traditional airlines looking to tap into new routes or gain a foothold in point-to-point routes.
Combined with per-seat costs similar to those of wide bodies (but at a lower price), the low capacity for long-haul offered by this type of aircraft paves the way for the cost-effective development of long-haul routes with a low traffic flows. And more specifically, the possibility of filling all seats without the need to supplement them with passengers from connecting flights, as is the case for so-called “network” airlines that operate on the principle of major hubs, such as Air France and Lufthansa.