Toulouse - Airbus is considering giving the A321LR, the long-range variant of the A321neo, even greater flight range capacity. With the new version, supposedly named A321XLR, the European manufacturer intends to prepare for competition against the Boeing's expected 797 NMA (New Midsize Airplane).

It is not yet clear how much extra flight range the A321XLR gets exactly, but the super long-haul version of the Airbus model should exceed the already flying long-range variant A321LR (4000 nautical miles or 7,400 kilometers), which recently claimed a long-distance record for single-aisle jets in testing.

Background of the new variant consideration is apparently the competition with Boeing. With 797, the US manufacturer wants to close the gap between its medium-range jets of the 737 series and the smallest widebody jet (the 787 Dreamliner) in its model range.

Boeing has long been talking about the development of such an aircraft that will succeed the outdated Boeing 757. The industry speculates that the Boeing leadership will announce its plans with the new aircraft in July at the Farnborough Air Show.

Unofficially dubbed 797, the New Midsize Airplane of Boeing would probably hold 220 to 270 passengers and travel up to 5,000 nautical miles.

At the 2017 Air Show in Le Bourget near Paris, the Boeing leadership had estimated the need for such a plane would be about 4,000 copies in the next 20 years.