How useful is an Airbus A321XLR? Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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June 13, 2019, © Leeham News: Last week we looked at the route structures an Airbus A321XLR could support compared with the original A321LR. We could see the A321XLR is a more flexible long-range aircraft than the A321LR.

It covers trans-Atlantic routes from Mid-US to mid-Europe and it can for several route types replace larger aircraft, thus allowing increased frequency on existing routes or the start of new thinner routes than possible with widebody aircraft.

This all assumes the economics of the A321XLR and a widebody like the Airbus A330neo or Boeing 787 are comparable. We use our Aircraft Performance Model to find out.

  • Our comparison over a typical long-range route shows the operating costs of an A321XLR and an A330-800 or 787-8 are close.
  • This creates flexibility for the airlines. The A321XLR can open new, thinner routes between secondary city pairs or increase the frequency on established long-haul routes.
  • It can also serve routes during off-peak hours or during the slower winter period. All that's needed whether the route is within the range capability of the A321XLR.

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