The Redemption of the 757

How the US Airlines Finally Realized its Extraordinary Capabilities

The market opportunities of new aircraft programs are often constrained by the limitations of the past. These new designs tend to be evaluated on current networks, drawn to circumvent the now outdated limitations of the older fleets. It can take years for operators to realize the full potential of an aircraft as they slowly discover how their networks can be adjusted to take advantage of new capabilities. Only then does the aircraft rise to its true potential, re-drawing route maps and creating a new market for future aircraft to emulate. That, in a nutshell, is the story of the 757. The career of the 757 can be separated into two distinct roles: 1. What it was designed to do 2. What it could actually do Originally billed as a 727 replacement, the 757 was designed to replace the former workhorse on short range trunk routes with sufficient field performance to […]

Can the A321XLR Replace Wide-Body Aircraft Across the Atlantic?

History Suggests it Can

US Transcontinental Capacity - 1990

Airbus officially launched the A321XLR at the Paris Airshow last week with 4,700 nm range and 243 commitments. The improved range is significant, up from the LR version with 4,000 nm range. However, when you consider the vast majority of A321s flying today are -200s with approximately 3,200 nm range, the XLR will offer almost a 50% improvement in range over the current fleet. This type of range improvement is significant, to say the least. Yet, we know wide-body aircraft have much longer range, up to 9,500 nm with the A380. Of course the aircraft capable of these distances are also much larger, leveraging the infrastructure required to carry the requisite fuel and, in turn, the large amounts of passengers (and revenue) to offset. While the XLR’s 4,700 nm range makes news for extending the reach of the narrow-body, it is the inherent economic advantage the narrow-body has over the […]