American Airlines orders 50 A321XLR from Airbus

Jun 21, 2019, 01:14
American Airlines orders 50 A321XLR from Airbus

Airbus continued to hoover up support for its A321XLR on the third day of the Paris Air Show with a memorandum of understanding that Indigo Partners and three of its airlines would acquire 50 of the single-aisle aircraft.

Airbus announced a new version of its best-selling A321 with close to 240 orders and commitments in Paris, only to see its grip on IAG's European short-haul networks damaged by the Boeing deal which analysts said shores up the embattled 737 MAX.

The additional 10 jets are valued at more than $1 billion at Airbus list prices, although airlines typically receive substantial discounts.

Airbus has already started pre-marketing the longer-range A321XLR which will allow airlines to offer long trips in narrow-body planes on routes where demand is too slim to justify taking the risk of trying to fill a larger wide-body.

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Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has chose to expand its existing A320neo family order from 35 to as many as 100 neo aircraft including 35 options.

Boeing is studying a new jet dubbed New Midsize Airplane, or NMA, that would be a similar size to the A321XLR.

"It does provide a very effective airplane for numerous same routes as the NMA, and it does so many years earlier", Air Lease CEO John Plueger said of the new Airbus jet.

Boeing, meanwhile, expressed further contrition over the 737 Max, which remains grounded in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air disasters. There is no clear date for when the Max might fly again. On Friday, June 14, 2019, a federal judge ordered unions that represent American Airlines mechanics not to interfere in the airline's operations.

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FILE PHOTO: A Boeing 737 MAX 8 sits outside the hangar during a media tour of the Boeing 737 MAX at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington December 8, 2015. Muilenburg said it was "unacceptable" the company was not more transparent with aviation authorities and the global traveling public.

Bill Franke's Indigo will parcel out the XLRs it ordered to three airlines in its stable of discounters: Budapest-based Wizz Air Holdings Plc, Eastern Europe's biggest discount airline, Frontier Airlines of the US, which aims to fly them coast to coast and could add Hawaii and Alaska, and Chile's JetSmart.

The A321XLR has been created to maximize overall commonality with the A321LR and the rest of the A320neo Family, while introducing minimal changes needed to give the aircraft an Xtra Long Range with increased revenue payload. They are looking at hybrid, electric or hydrogen technology to eventually replace existing fuel.

Airlines are rarely persuaded to switch to rival suppliers because of the costs of training and parts, but this week's Paris Airshow has witnessed two such announcements as sold-out planemakers mount incursions to continue their growth.

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The deal was announced during the Paris Air Show in France.

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