Market potential for A321LR

Here’s how Airbus sees the market potential for the A321LR, going well beyond the 50-60 Boeing 757s flying the Atlantic and some limited operations on other routes.


Airbus believes the A321LR will expand the market considerably over the Boeing 757 long-range routes today. Source: Airbus.


39 Comments on “Market potential for A321LR

  1. The engine is named “PW advantage”. Is that a new name for the GTF or did I miss anything?

    • I believe that’s the PIP’ed version that comes out in 2019 with a 2% fuel burn reduction.

      Does anyone know if the improvement is specific to the Airbus version only?

  2. Hello guys
    Best wishes for 2015 (my first post this yaer here)
    I guess it is the PW1100G + the 2% PIP due for 2019…
    For now an A321NEO LR with Leap should have shorter legs ?

    Is that it ?


  3. This is the plane that potentially brings the LCCs to transcontinental routes. And they needn’t fly into the main airports either. And think what it can do on the African routes? Now we need visionaries to make it happen.

  4. I can’t make much sense out of Airbus’ numbers. 300 on the Atlantic, 100 to Asia and 45 to Australia?

    As far as I can see 2300 A321 (CEO+NEO) are on order now, with a little more then 1000 delivered. Part of the 2800 A320NEo will also be converted to A321NEO/LR’s in time. Some A321NEO will be converted to A321LR’s too.

    Keymarkets IMO are US Transcon and North-South. Europe-Middle East Africa and intra Asia.

    The 757 still is very popular for medium range, low cost, hot/high/loaded leisure flights, so I guess there will be a lot of interest too.

  5. 469 is the current situation for the 757 … from the press conference John said something like 1000 aircrafts can be considered … he is always optimistic !!

    By the way, to Kesjee and Scott, John also added “undisclosed orders” saying some customers do not like to be named … they become shy

  6. Hello
    I fully support the trend about the A321neoLR might be a good tool for european LCC to start long range operations ( US east cost -medium size european cities for instance) . I wonder about the Airbus market study about the likely impact ( my feeling) about A321neo LR on future A380 sales . This a/c even its limited performance will be a good solution to replace partially current B757 and will find its path on the market . For memory A310-300 was a first tentative in the 90’s.
    Main drawbacks are lack of space in the cargo area for luggages and fuel system trouble shooting with 3 ACT.

  7. I think the 321lr market is huge, as smaller countries launch more direct services from the EUUS… AerLingus and Icelandair are doing very well in this sector, and are well placed for growth, especially with a modern, reliable, confortable, and fuel efficent new aircraft. Looking forward to EIs order… Using these smaller aircraft to increase frequency during peak months and open new routes in a pathfinder/test mode.

    Lots of smaller non-capital cities that want and need more connections.

  8. The graphic shows the number of 757’s on active duty, which, I estimate are randomly allocated to routes they don’t fly most of the time. It presumably also includes many freighters, such as those flown by Fedex, and therefore completely irrelevant to the A321LR passenger plane.

    This surely has to win the prize for the most nonsensical PR piece ever produced by an airframe manufacturer. And believe me, the competition for that award is hotly contested.

    I have a question. Presumably the higher MTOW would help field performance of the A321? Are they offering a HGW A321, but without the extra fuel tank, for hot and high customers?

  9. Regarding field performance, any aircraft with a higher take-off weight and the same basic aerodynamics and same thrust needs longer runways . Specially on hot and high conditions.Certainly the A321LR will need longer runways than the A321 Neo.

    • P&W announced a 35klbs GTF upgrade : PW1135G-JM : last year.
      ~6.5% thrust increase for 3.5% MTOW increase.

      Seemingly available for all A321 it should give the plain NEO (significantly?) and also the LR better hot/high performance.

  10. FedEx and UPS easily take up 175 of the 200s by themselves and they will not be candidates for the A321. A lot of operator routes work because they got them cheap. If they had to pull current prices?

    And while I think its a great move by Airbus, it still can only haul 200 passengers on the real long routes so not a true 757.

    It still cuts into 757 area further and its a class that Being has no answer for.

    No where near what Leahy says but more than Boeing says as Turkish is starting to serve longer distances from their well placed hub, and that opens up Africa from there as well as Africa Europe.

    And if you need more capacity for the interim you can get that out of A321.

    I suspect Boeing is scrambling. Not a short term issue, but longer term for sure.

    Frankly the A321 splits the single aisle market, unless Airbus outproduces Boeing, its still 50/50 but Airbus gets the higher value as Boeing simply has nothing to counter.

    Not being familiar with the various A320s, I did not see this one, but Boeing should have and planned. Whistling in the dark does not make it go away.

    And lost customers are very hard to get back, any response has to offer a lot more and is very price sensitive in that segment.

    And its puts Boeing in a dilemma if you fight in that area with a new single aisle that they need anyway or go with a twin aisle that costs more (or an overlap of both). It causes another fragment/split in the single aisle/small twin type.

    Very nice move by Airbus.

    • Fragment/split will mean, as Sparky commented earlier, increased pressure on A380.

    • Those are not LD3-45 containers in that picture of the A321 and you can clearly see that they are using belt loaders.

      • Good catch! Air China uses bulk. Other Chinese operators do use them e.g Southern. I guess it has to do with mixed fleets, most operators have 757 / 737 too in China.

  11. So I suppose economics trump almost all, but who wants to travel 4000 nautical miles in a narrow-body airliner?!?

    • Use to happen all the time (707, DC-8, VC10). At least it’s the wider A321 than the narrower 737.

      • While I am old enough to have hazy recollections of airline travel pre-deregulation, I’m not old enough to have flown on a 707 or DC-8. Still, weren’t the amenities, service, seat-pitch and whatnot rather different on those planes back then compared to the narrow-body aircraft of today?

        • Not necessarily. Charter airlines flew the 707 and DC8 with 189 pax (or the DC-8-61 with 259), high density. I flew on a Monarch Airlines 757 from New York-Manchester (England)-Luxor (Egypt) to Nairobi. Business class was merely a recline and steerage was jammed 3×3. It all depended.

        • I remember flying a TWA 707 from IAD to LAX and the seat pitch was great. Just depended on the carrier. Also too, a steak dinner with metal flatware in coach.
          “Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end”, oh well, a person can daydream.

    • Why not, the seats are essentially the same. A second row isnt an advantage. Plus when you land in a narrow body there is much smaller numbers around the carousel.

  12. What this does is further fragment the medium-haul markets, just as the 787 will-and is-doing in the long-haul markets. As these markets further fragment, the business case for the VLA continues to deteriorate. If 200 people get on United’s 787 LAX-Melbourne, that’s 200 people who DON’T get on a LAX-Sydney flight to change planes in SYD. Multiply this hundreds of times according to John Lehy’s numbers and the business case for the A380 (and 747-8) goes away. (not that there ever was one).

    • I wonder if the A321LR and A380 are on the same table in terms are flight lenghts and route overlap. As far as I know >80% of long haul flights has at least 1 Hub, as origin or destination. And those get constraint. E.g. LHR will try to avoid A321LR like aircraft snooping up sparse, valuable slots.

      On point to point routes, long thin routes, A321LRs could replace e.g. 787-8s that are only more efficient if you can fill them, or offer better frequencies :/

      • I doubt that 787-8s are anywhere near competitive on costs on routes that A321LR can fly. The 787 costs at least 50% more, has more than twice the empty weight and has only 50% more seats. On the revenue side, the first 200 seats will result in a higher average revenue than the additional seats. The 787 makes only sense on routes the A321LR cannot serve…if you need more seats, you might want to consider a second flight rather than the bigger plane (if slots are available).

  13. If the A321 is in superhigh demand, the only thing holding it back is Airbus ability to crank up the playdough pumper and make a dent in that ten year backlog.

  14. I believe Alabama will only turnout A321s

    I think the real crux of this aircraft segment will be what the split is, i.e. do you compete with an A321 type in it, or do you go with a mini twins aisle?

    And is there a market above the A321 or crosses into the upper limits that justifies a mini twin and you stretch the 737RS to pick off the A321 (which would seem to have logic).

    That of course flies in the face of Boeing insisting that they will compete in the 150 market when in fact neither they nor Airbus do anymore.

    It would seem that corporate efforts are better spent in other area (particularly Boeing, but then……)

  15. Its often forgotten , but the 757 was supposed to be 727 replacement, it was going reasonably well with a 1000 sold, but then the market decided a replacement for a a 150 -180 seater really was just another 150-180 seats. They ‘drifted’ as Mae West used to say.

  16. Scott:

    I was reading the Boeing conference transcripts.

    Why did you or the other questioners not call them on the comparison of the BBJ and their range and the A321?

    That is truly an apples and rutabaga comparison. BBJ carries no where near the passengers and baggage that a commercial operation does, let alone the A321 and particularly the NEO -LR and its commercially useful 757 challenging profile.

    I hate to see them do the bait and switch and not get challenged.

    • You didn’t see LNC falling for that nonsense, and when two media and a Wall Street analyst called on that point, we set them straight. We pound Boeing enough as it is, but in The Seattle Times we were quoted saying the A321 is kicking ass.

      Nuf said.

      • Yea I saw the KA remark and thought it was funny.

        I see the BBJ comparison made it into the analysis, cool

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