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The first A321LR departs from Paris bound for JFK (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus A321LR Completes First Transatlantic Flight

On Tuesday, the newest product of the Airbus A320 family, the A321LR, completed the first transatlantic flight, from Le Bourget Airport in Paris, France, to New York’s JFK. The trip was made by a test aircraft, with registration D-AVZO, in 8-hours and 44-minutes.

The aircraft was flown by the same test crew that performed D-AVZO’s maiden flight on Jan. 31, and included testing equipment and a simulation of passenger loads, with the intention to check first-hand the capabilities of the aircraft for the European-North American route.

The A321LR landing (Photo: Airbus)

The A321LR is expected to conquer the middle of the market segment, as Boeing’s response is still on the drawing table. Many analysts consider that 2018 needs to be a year of definitions for Boeing’s 797 NMA project, as any delays would impact its expected entry into service date, planned for 2024 to 2025. If it fails to secure that timeline, many of the aging 757-200 replacements would fall in the A321LR’s hands.

To this day, it has more than 1900 orders received from over 50 customers. Airbus estimates that the A321neo has captured 80 percent of its segment market share.

With a new door configuration, which will enable its operators to accommodate up to 240 passengers and the new Airspace by Airbus cabin concept, Airbus’ widest single-aisle is going to provide a fair passenger experience, with a range of up to 4000nm.

The aircraft estimates a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption.  It aims to obtain EASA and FAA Type Certification in Q2 2018. Entry into service is targeted for Q4 2018, according to the manufacturer.

Pablo Diaz
Pablo Diaz
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