Airbus debuts longest-range single-aisle jet

Airbus has debuted its much-anticipated A321LR, the world's longest-range jet with a single aisle currently in produc...

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 11:58 AM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 11:58 AM

Airbus has debuted its much-anticipated A321LR, the world's longest-range jet with a single aisle currently in production.

The plane took its maiden flight Wednesday from the European plane maker's factory in Hamburg, Germany.

'LR' stands for longer range. The plane can fly for 4,000 nautical miles, or about eight hours of flying, before it needs to refuel.

It is designed for transatlantic routes, as airlines want to fly non-stop to and from smaller cities that don't have the demand for a big twin-aisle aircraft.

Airlines like JetBlue Airways said it is studying whether to buy the A321LR as part of a strategy to potentially expand its service to Europe. Airbus said Wednesday it has amassed more than 1,900 orders for the A321neo and its longer-range model from more than 50 customers.

First delivery of the jets begin later in 2018 following about 100 hours of airborne tests over the coming months. The first operator has not yet been disclosed, but airlines like low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle, Air Transat in Canada and Ireland's Aer Lingus have committed to the plane.

Airbus has made small modifications to its A320neo to create A321LR. It has as many as three additional fuel tanks and can carry about 7,700 pounds of additional gas or passengers and their bags.

The arrival of the A321LR is part of an escalating fight between Airbus and its American rival Boeing over what the plane makers have dubbed "the middle of the market."

With the A321LR, Airbus says it "has captured a solid 80%" of market for flights that don't need a long-range jet, but are too busy for a small single-aisle aircraft.

Boeing, meantime, is still pondering plans for its first new jetliner since 2011. The jet is dryly called the "New Mid-Market Airplane," but it has been dubbed the Boeing "797" by prospective customers.

The "797" is a small twin-aisle airplane that could seat between 225 and 270 passengers for flights of up to 5,200 nautical miles, or just over 10 hours.

The jet will be tailored to serve congested airports on routes such as New York to Los Angeles. Like the A321LR, the Boeing plane should also be efficient enough to serve medium-range flights connecting the United States to smaller European cities.

The jet would fill a gap between Boeing's single-aisle 737 workhorse and its advanced long range 787.

Boeing hasn't given the green light to build the 797 and would have to spend $10 billion to $15 billion to bring it so market, a vast sum more than Airbus is spending to create the lightly upgraded A321LR.

So Boeing will need to charge a premium price to earn back its investment as it battles the A321.

Boeing believes there could be a market for more than 4,000 such aircraft over 20 years starting around 2025 when the plane would first fly passengers. However, some industry analysts believe that figure is closer to 2,500 aircraft.

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said the company is talking to more than 50 customers about the plane.

Meanwhile, Boeing started taking orders in June for its stretched 737 Max 10, which arrives in 2020. That's aimed at blunting the runaway success of the A321neo and sibling A321LR while Boeing figures out what it wants to do with a new jet.

"We're not going to launch this airplane unless the business case makes good sense," Muilenburg said of the prospective 797 on Wednesday. "We still have time to do our homework and make the right decision, so we're not going to be rushed into a decision here."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 114236

Reported Deaths: 3548
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21067764
Lake10397321
Elkhart6477109
St. Joseph6312105
Allen6113201
Hamilton4803109
Vanderburgh353630
Hendricks2694123
Monroe253136
Tippecanoe234713
Johnson2291123
Clark218756
Porter210546
Cass19399
Delaware191861
Vigo180324
Madison161975
LaPorte140540
Floyd135161
Howard129263
Warrick123436
Kosciusko121117
Bartholomew115557
Marshall99724
Dubois96418
Boone96046
Hancock91743
Grant90334
Noble90032
Henry79326
Wayne75114
Jackson7469
Morgan70938
Shelby66829
Daviess65828
Dearborn64728
LaGrange63411
Clinton59514
Harrison56624
Putnam54211
Knox5139
Lawrence51028
Montgomery50721
Gibson4964
White48314
DeKalb46811
Decatur45839
Miami4313
Greene42235
Fayette41913
Jasper3902
Steuben3787
Scott36711
Sullivan33312
Posey3160
Jennings31212
Franklin30325
Clay2995
Orange28824
Ripley2878
Carroll27313
Wabash2638
Washington2631
Whitley2617
Starke2597
Adams2553
Wells2513
Jefferson2473
Fulton2352
Spencer2283
Huntington2253
Tipton22122
Perry21613
Randolph2117
Jay1760
Newton17211
Owen1681
Martin1640
Rush1544
Pike1431
Vermillion1270
Fountain1202
Pulaski1161
Blackford1143
Brown1043
Crawford1040
Parke972
Benton880
Ohio787
Union780
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0226

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 147744

Reported Deaths: 4715
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26545606
Cuyahoga17327656
Hamilton12953315
Montgomery7667157
Lucas7230364
Butler5838110
Summit5237252
Marion308347
Mahoning3030281
Warren300249
Stark2817170
Pickaway264444
Lorain229586
Delaware221620
Fairfield206752
Columbiana192480
Licking189863
Trumbull1876132
Wood180472
Clark177740
Clermont167923
Lake160850
Medina145139
Greene142032
Allen140869
Miami140751
Portage111666
Mercer110118
Erie93246
Tuscarawas92820
Wayne91967
Ross86823
Richland83919
Madison80212
Darke78442
Belmont71827
Geauga71348
Hancock68610
Ashtabula65548
Athens6532
Lawrence64122
Shelby61010
Auglaize5859
Putnam57923
Sandusky55820
Huron5427
Union5152
Scioto4896
Ottawa46930
Seneca46414
Preble43015
Muskingum3922
Holmes3857
Jefferson3354
Logan3083
Henry30613
Champaign3023
Perry2939
Defiance28811
Clinton28613
Brown2842
Knox28215
Washington25823
Morrow2572
Hardin25213
Jackson2466
Fulton2411
Ashland2364
Coshocton23311
Crawford2316
Fayette2286
Highland2223
Wyandot20812
Williams2063
Gallia18913
Pike1790
Meigs17410
Guernsey1678
Hocking1619
Carroll1527
Adams1264
Van Wert1163
Monroe11018
Paulding1070
Harrison632
Morgan470
Vinton473
Noble280
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 59°
Angola
55° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 55°
Huntington
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 59°
Decatur
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 55°
Van Wert
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 55°
Warm, Summer-Like Weekend
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events