Airbus unveiled the latest version of its single-aisle A321neo passenger jet, the A321XLR, at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France, on Monday. The A321XLR (eXtra Long Range) will have a range of up to 4,700 NM, a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 101 metric tons and, according to Airbus, a “30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation competitor aircraft.” The XLR can seat up to 244 passengers in single-class configuration.
The company says the aircraft has more than 90% commonality with the A321neo. To make the longer range and higher MTOW possible, changes to the XLR include a new permanent rear center rank, modified landing gear and an “optimized” wing trailing-edge flap configuration. The A321XLR is expected to enter service in 2023.
Also announced at the show, American Airlines and Qantas Airways have entered into purchase agreements with Airbus for A321XLRs. American will be converting 30 A321neo slots from a previous order of 100 A321neos to A321XLRs along with placing incremental orders for 20 additional XLRs. Qantas has put in a firm order for 10 XRLs and converted an additional 26 existing A320neo family orders to A321XLRs.