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Airbus Presses on With New Plane Seen as Immune to Travel Slump

Airbus SE is stepping up development of its newest plane, pouring resources into the A321XLR even as it pulls back spending on other projects to save cash. The jet, dubbed XLR for “extra long range,” would be the longest-distance version yet of Airbus’s top-selling A320-series narrow-body. It has racked up more than 450 orders since its launch last year, and the European planemaker sees it as resistant to the historic collapse in demand for aircraft brought on by the coronavirus. ( More...

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mbrews 4
- Although I'm not an Airbus fan, I'll admit the development strategy makes sense. Looking post-covid, there WILL be demand for this class of commercial airliner. It will serve the 757 replacement market, with higher efficiency engines to minimize seat-mile costs. Would be attractive to Low-cost carriers and legacy carriers.

Before you jump on and say how you hate narrowbodies, - recognize that XLR could operate to smaller airports (shorter runways and less well-appointed ) in developed economies and emerging economies. This XLR would permit operators like JetBlue to enter longer range markets, while keeping a common equipment type. Example - pre-Covid, JetBlue and Spirit were able to fill A321s at low fares between FLL Ft. Lauderdale USA and LIM Lima Peru.

With a 321 XLR, others like Delta could say, operate a route ATL - LIM or perhaps beyond to Santiago Chile with low seat-mile costs. Im not claiming the single-aisle is comfortable, just that it meets the price point to less-developed economies.

So, looking past the Covid era, IMHO its good business sense for Airbus to press on with XLR development.
Andy Cruickshank 2
Totally agree with you and Jake below. I have done 757 trips from the Us to GLA and Shannon. Not the most comfortable but survivable at that price point
Jake MItchell 0
Totally agree with your logic here. As passengers though this will absolutely suck. Wish airlines cared more about comfort than money but hey comfort doesn't make money so unless people push back why not
Maybe some won't like it. Personally, I prefer the "long, thin" routes. The advantages of a larger cabin, especially on a full flight, are marginal at best and totally outweighed by an extra stop or two at a hub.
belzybob 4
If pax cared more about comfort than money they'd be flying premium or biz.


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