Airbus launches long-expected A321XLR with ALC order; lessor also orders A220-300

By Judson Rollins

June 17, 2019, © Leeham News, Paris: Airbus launched its much-awaited A321XLR today with an initial order of 27 airplanes from lessor Air Lease Corp. ALC also ordered another 23 A321neos, which can optionally be taken as A321LRs. This brings ALC’s total Airbus order count to 387, making it Airbus’s third largest lessor.

Airbus also announced that ALC has ordered 50 A220-300s to be delivered between 2021 and 2026. ALC is the largest lessor to date to order the former C-Series aircraft. ALC executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy said, “We believe this aircraft will be a wonderful replacement for aging A319s, 737s, Fokker 100, BAe-146s, and other smaller jet aircraft.”

 The order is structured as a letter of intent. ALC chief executive John Plueger said the LoI covers “all commercial business points” but that it will be converted to a firm order once certain terms are firmed on the A220 portion of the order.

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer declined to discuss catalog pricing for the A321XLR.

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Paris Air Show Orders, Day 1

June 17, 2019, (c) Leeham News: Here are the orders and commitments for Day 1 of the Paris Air Show, courtesy of Airfinance Journal.

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How useful is an Airbus A321XLR? Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

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.

Summary:
  • 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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How useful is an Airbus A321XLR?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

June 6, 2019, © Leeham News: There are growing rumors Airbus will launch the extended range A321XLR at the Paris Air Show on June 17th. The aircraft will get more fuel and takeoff weight to enable an A321 to fly longer routes, penetrating deeper into the US and Europe for a trans-Atlantic use case.

Operators can now choose between longer routes than for the A321LR or the same routes while carrying more passengers. We use our performance model to find out the limits of this trade.

Summary:

  • The A321XLR turns the trans-Atlantic capability of the A321LR from coast to coast opportunities into a mid-US to mid-Europe capability.
  • As the seat mile cost of the A321LR and A321XLR are competitive with the A330neo and Boeing 787, the A321XLR opens for thin and long service to several new city pairs.

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2019 Paris Air Show Preview

By Vincent Valery

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June 3, 2019, © Leeham News: The 2019 Paris Air Show kicks off in two weeks at the Le Bourget Exhibition Center.

In this preview, we will go over what to expect from commercial aircraft OEMs.

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Pontifications: 50×2

By Scott Hamilton

June 3, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus and Embraer are 50 years old this year.

Airbus broke out the party hats last Wednesday. It arranged a formation flying of all its in-production aircraft, including the Beluga XL. It launched a website microsite with its history. A new book, Airbus, The First 50 Years, has been issued. A celebration is planned for the Paris Air Show.

Embraer’s anniversary is Aug. 19, so at this point, its party plans haven’t been solidified, but there will likely be something at the Paris Air Show. Embraer plans to have its new specially painted E195-E2 at the air show.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Electric aircraft, the first fall on the Hype curve

Bjorn’s Corner

May 31, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Last week the new Airbus CTO, Grazia Vittadini, said we should not expect electric aircraft anytime soon when presenting at Airbus Innovation days. What is realistic is hybrid developments, not battery-based designs.

After having made the basic checks about Electric aircraft in my Corner series 18 months ago, this was music to my ears. Finally, someone was curbing expectations.

Figure 1. The Gartner technology hype curve. We are somewhere in the first peak.  Source: Gartner.

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Airbus’ A220 gets increased range next year

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

May 30, 2019, © Leeham News: Airbus announced an increase in Maximum TakeOff Weight (MTOW) for its A220 range last week. With the improvement, the A220s should fly up to 3,400nm when the increased MTOW is available from 2H 2020.

Like the last time when we wrote about the A220 and its range versus other Airbus single-aisles, this is a bit of Apples and Oranges. Just about everything around how the range of the A220 is measured changed. When we put the new data into our performance model, a very different range picture popped out than the one given by Airbus.

Summary:

  • Airbus change the rule set by which it measures the range of the A220 to the less stringent Airbus single-aisle rule-set. Together with a future increase of the MTOW, this will increase the range of the A220.
  • It also changed the seating. This was to curb the range of the A220-100 and to hide an emerging fuel limitation of the A220-300.

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Embraer sees need for 10,550 airplanes in 50-150 sectors

May 29, 2019, © Leeham News: Embraer, in what will be its last 20-year market forecast as an independent company, sees a demand for 10,550 jet and turboprop aircraft from 50 to 150 seats through 2038.

The company, founded 50 years ago, growing to become the world’s third largest supplier of airliners, sees its Commercial Aviation unit disappear by the end of this year, barring a hiccup of some kind.

That’s when The Boeing Co. and Embraer expect approval of a joint venture that will be called Boeing Brasil-Commercial (BB-C). Boeing will own 80% of the JV and control governance. Embraer will own 20%. The CEO of the Commercial Aviation unit, John Slattery, will be president of the joint venture, but Boeing will be in charge.

Until then, Embraer is trying to carry on business as usual. And this means it issued its 20-year forecast Monday during its pre-Paris Air Show international media briefing at its headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

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Embraer’s KC-390 nears delivery

May 28, 2019 © Leeham News: Embraer’s KC-390 multi-role tanker transport is nearing delivery of the first aircraft to the launch customer, the Brazilian Air Force.

KC-390. Photo: Embraer.

In a briefing in advance of the Paris Air Show at Embraer’s Unidade Gavião Peixoto Airport 225 miles from its Sao Jose dos Campos headquarters, program VP Walter Pinto said that most of the required testing is complete.

What’s left?

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