Airbus is apparently penciling in orders for a new model, the A321XLR. Reuters reports that Airbus has been offering a new longer-range variant of the A321 to potential customers to capture the market intended by Boeing’s NMA, for which a formal decision will not be made until the 777X is ready in 2020.
The A321XLR is aimed directly to compete with the NMA. The aircraft is rumored to carry 206 in two-class configuration or 244 passenger in all economy over a range of 5,000 nautical miles. That would enable Airbus to better compete with the NMA than the currently announced A321LR, which recently completed a 4,750nm test flight of 11 hours duration from the Seychelles to Toulouse, France with a simulated load of 160 passengers. The A321LR and A321XLR appear to be the replacement for the Boeing 757.
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