Airbus has officially launched a new version of the A321neo with 97 tonnes maximum take-off weight (MTOW), having secured the first commitment for the new version from Air Lease Corporation.
Los Angeles based Air Lease Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for 30 more Airbus A321neo jets, potentially increasing to 90 aircraft the firm order it signed at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014 for 60 A321neos and becoming the launch customer for Airbus’ increased-range version of the aircraft.
The manufacturer is calling the new increased-weight version of the high-selling Airbus A321neo the ‘A321neo 97t’ and says that, with a range of 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers), the A321neo 97t will have the longest range of any single-aisle airliner available in the near future.
Thanks to an additional fuel tank in the forward under-floor hold of the aircraft, as well as minor strengthening in the wing and fuselage, the A321neo 97t will be able to fly 206 passengers on longer routes of up to 4,000nm in a two-class layout, according to Airbus.
Deliveries of A321neo 97ts will begin by 2019, the manufacturer says.
According to Airbus, the A320neo 97t’s range will make it ideally suited to transatlantic routes and will allow airlines to tap into new long-haul markets which were not previously accessible with single-aisle aircraft now flying or under development.
“We are excited to be the first to sign for the new longer-range version of the A321neo,” says Steven Udvar-Házy, chairman and chief executive officer of Air Lease Corporation.
“ALC wants a footprint in every promising market segment, including ones that can be opened by this new version of the A321neo,” adds Udvar-Házy. “We pride ourselves in being able to provide our customers with the very latest, most innovative products and solutions.”
“The longer haul single aisle market is a lucrative one that the A321neo will now dominate, thanks to the aircraft’s superior comfort, economics and range,” predicts John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer, customers.
“This new version of the A321neo is a high-revenue-generating aircraft which will open up many new opportunities for our customers,” adds Leahy.
Under the assumption that ALC’s MOUs for 30 A321neo aircraft plus 25 Airbus A330neo-family widebodies become firm orders, ALC’s total orders for Airbus aircraft would stand at 258 aircraft.
These would be made up of 53 A320ceo-family jets, 140 A320neo-family aircraft, 15 A330-family widebodies, 25 A350 XWB-family aircraft and 25 A330neo-family airliners.
By the end of 2014, firm orders for the Airbus A320neo family had reached more than 3,600 aircraft for 70 customers, according to Airbus. This firm-order total does not include ALC’s new MOU for 30 A321neos.