Airbus A321 neo in Air Lease Corp. livery
Airbus has launched the A321neo with 97 tonnes maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), following the first commitment from Air Lease Corp. (ALC). The move comes just six months after ALC became a launch customer for the A330neo.
The Los Angeles-based lessor signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for 30 more A321neos, upsizing its commitments from the 2014 Farnborough Airshow from 60 to 90.
“We can pick up not only the 500 aircraft to replace the Boeing 757 [with the A321LR], but there is a market of 500 aircraft for growth,” Airbus COO-customers John Leahy said, adding that at the end of December, firm orders for the neo reached over 3,600 aircraft from 70 customers.
Airbus said the A321neo 97t will have the longest range (4,000 nm) of any single-aisle aircraft available today and tomorrow, making it suitable for transatlantic routes, and allowing airlines to tap into new long-haul markets that were not previously accessible with current single-aisle aircraft.
ALC chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy said ALC wants a footprint in every promising market segment, including ones that can be opened by this new version of the A321neo.
“The longer-haul, single-aisle market is a lucrative one that the A321neo will now dominate. This new version of the A321neo is a high-revenue generating aircraft, which will open up many new opportunities for our customers,” Udvar-Hazy said.
Airbus said the A321 97t variant will be able to fly 206 passengers on longer routes of up to 4,000 nm in a two-class layout. First deliveries are scheduled to begin by 2019.
If ALC’s MOUs for 30 A321neo—plus 25 A330neo family aircraft—become firm orders, ALC’s total orders for Airbus aircraft would stand at 258 (53 A320ceo family, 140 A320neo family, 15 A330 family, 25 A350 XWB family and 25 A330neo family).
(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)