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 […]