Paris, France - American Airlines and Airbus have inked an agreement for 50 A321XLR. The deal includes the conversion of previously ordered 30 Airbus A321neos to the XLR and additional 20 aircraft of the same type.
With this order, American Airlines, the world's largest airline operator, became the launch customer of the Airbus's new extra-long-range single-aisle jet in North America.
“My feeling is this aircraft certainly gives us much greater utility in the long run and at the end of the day will be worth quite a bit more to us,” said Robert Isom, the president of the American Airlines Group and its flagship American Airlines.
Airbus's new long-haul jet is expected to allow airlines to fly to new distant destinations that are not profitable when served with widebody jets.
With the arrival of the A321XLRs, American Airlines will be able to fly on routes between the major cities in the US and the smaller cities in Europe other than the destinations near Atlantic.
“This opportunity, with the enhancements being made to the XLR is really cool,” said Isom.
According to the manufacturer, the Airbus A321XLR will have the longest range ever compared with the other single-aisle jets in the market, thanks to its increased MTOW of 101 metric tons and permanent central fuel tank.
American airlines will presumably use its A321XLRs to replace its aging Boeing 757s and 767s.
American Airlines is the largest Airbus operator in the world with 422 aircraft. Taking into account today’s orders, the American carrier now has 115 A321neos and A321XLRs in its order book with the European aircraft manufacturer.
Airbus announced the A321XLR on the first day of the Paris Air Show and accumulates 160 orders from the customers from Europe, Middle East. Asia-Pacific region and the United States.