Saturday , October 23 2021

Long range: American Airlines playing with the Airbus A321 XLR


That would be a big blow to Boeing. American Airlines could replace its old Boeing 757 with Airbus' longer range A321.

The aviation industry expects Airbus to present the A321 XLR at the air show in Le Bourget in mid-June. Already, the A321's planned strongest range version has attracted the interest of several airlines, including jetblue, level and indigo. And now American Airlines is also the largest airline in the world with the Airbus A321 XLR.

American Airlines sees the A321 Neo variant as a potential replacement for its aging 34 Boeing 757-200s, according to Bloomberg news agency, citing informants. An advertisement on the Paris Air Show is therefore not planned, but a potential deal can be completed quickly, then one of the sources.

From Dallas to Central Europe

The maximum range of the XLR is not yet known. Initially it was said that it could fly 400 to 500 nautical miles in addition to the A321 LR, which raises it to a maximum of 4000. Meanwhile, even an increase from 700 to 900 is rumored. 4900 nautical miles would be more than 9000 kilometers. Even with a range of 4700 miles or 8700 kilometers, American could easily fly from its main center in Dallas to Central Europe.

In fact, American Airlines dropped an order of long-range variants of the A321 last year. Now she wants to speak as little as Airbus. If the airline chooses XLR, it can reposition the orders. By the end of May, she still had orders for 97 A321 Neo and 27 A321 Ceo on Airbus. Of course, American could also buy additional aircraft.

XLR likely from 2023 or 2024

Due to previously occupied production, the XLR must not be delivered before 2023 or 2024 unless customers re-submit other orders. In any case, the A321 XLR could degrade Airbus' competitor Boeing customers by its potential 797. The so-called mid-market aircraft are expected to be on the market by 2025 if they are built. Boeing's first target group would be airlines with large fleets 757 and 767 that would need to be replaced.

Only an XLR order from an aviation giant like the American would be a big hit for Boeing. The American aircraft manufacturer itself is hampered in its decision for or against a 797 at the time of the 737 Max crisis, which serves many resources.

Memories of 737 maximum decision

The situation is somewhat reminiscent of the year 2011. At that time, American Airlines shocked when it leaked at the Paris show that the airline is planning its first application for Airbus since 1987, such as the A320 Neo. Boeing has decided, under that impression , did not develop a completely new short and mid-range jet but announced the 737 Max. American finally ordered 460 aircraft: 260 Airbus A320 and 200 Boeing 737, half of them Neo and Max.

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