Airbus launches long-range single-aisle jet

Airbus has launched a new single-aisle jet that will have the ability to operate long distance fights, including trans-Atlantic routes.

Officially named the ‘A321neo 97t’, with reference to its maximum take-off weight of 97 tonnes, the new aircraft will have a range of 4,000  nautical miles (7,408km), allowing it to operate routes such as LondonNew York, BeijingBali or even SydneySingapore. This gives it the longest reach of any single-aisle aircraft either operating today or planned in the future.

The a321neo 97t will form part of Airbus' new A320neo series
The a321neo 97t will form part of Airbus’ new A320neo series

Airbus said the new jet was “ideally suited to trans-Atlantic routes” and “will allow airlines to tap into new long-haul markets which were not previously accessible”.

The aircraft was launched after Airbus secured an order for 30 A321neos from Los Angeles-based leasing company, ALC.

“We are delighted to officially launch the A321neo 97t option with ALC,” said John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer.

“The longer haul single-aisle market is a lucrative one that the A321neo will now dominate, thanks to the aircraft’s superior comfort, economics and range. This new version of the A321neo is a high revenue generating aircraft which will open up many new opportunities for our customers.”

The A321 97t will be able to carry up to 206 passengers in a typical two-class layout. The first deliveries are expected to have started by 2019.

The new aircraft forms part of the Airbus A320neo (new engine option) series – a new range of fuel-efficient single-aisle jets that will eventually take over from the existing A320 series. To date, Airbus has taken firm orders for more than 3,600 A320neo aircraft. Major airline customers include IndiGo (420 aircraft), AirAsia (200), Lion Air (174) and American Airlines (130).

The first A320neo is due to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2015.

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