Single aisle or Widebody over the Atlantic on thin routes? Part 2

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By Bjorn Fehrm


November 4, 2021, © Leeham News: Last week, we compared the economics of an Airbus A321LR and A330-200 on a thin route over the Atlantic. We found the Widebody could compensate for its higher operating costs as long as the route has a sizable cargo stream and that this is paid at today’s elevated air freight prices. The A321LR has extra center tanks that take away all cargo space and thus has negligible cargo revenue.

Now we repeat the analysis with the more capable A321XLR. It stores four ACTs worth of extra fuel in the space of two. This leaves room for cargo. Will it be enough to restore the supremacy in margin generation over the twin-aisle?

Rendering of the A321XLR. Source: Airbus.

  • The check last week surprised with how close a mid-age A330-200 can come in margin generation to an A321LR on a thin route, thanks to its higher cargo revenue.
  • The A321XLR, with its more efficient tank setup, rebalances the fight in favor of the single-aisle.

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