Air Astana: no E2 but A321XLRs?

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The airline company Air Astana removed the five Embraer E2 of its fleet within two years, and plans to strengthen its Airbus A321LR via the addition of an additional tank – or even ordering 321XLRs directly once they are certified.

Based at the airport ofAlmatythe national carrier of Kazakhstan wants to part with its regional jets: the five Embraer 190-E2 leased to Azorra Aviation would leave the fleet in 2024 or 2025, CEO Peter Forster announced in an interview with Kurt Hoffman taken over by ch-aviation. These aircraft are deployed only on domestic routes, and have taken over from the up to nine E190s operated until 2020.

Air Astana operates on its international routes 21 other single-aisle aircraft Airbusincluding five A320neotwo A321 and fourteen A321neo (four in the 28+151 version and ten in LR version laid out in 16+150). The latter are used to destinations such as Amsterdam, Istanbul or Bangkok, three Boeing 767-300ER being dedicated to longer routes.

The possible addition of a additional central tank (ACT) in the A321LR is “studied” by Air Astana, emphasizes Peter Foster, who would see the re-engined single-aisle flying as far as Tokyo or Paris: “ By adding a third ACT to the A321LR, we hope to achieve a full payload range increase of 300 to 350 nautical miles additional, which would be helpful. We operate the LR near maximum range on multiple routes “, he explained.

On the other hand, the direct acquisition of Airbus A321XLR will depend, according to the CEO, on its final certification (expected entry into service in Q2 2024) and confirmation “of its payload range” – Airbus having confirmed last month that the performance of the XLR had decreases following the adoption of the modifications recommended by the regulator EASA (a weight increase of 700 to 800 kilos would lead to a decrease in autonomy of around 370 kilometers – out of the 8700 km targeted, or more than 10 hours of flight). Airbus “ does not expect a significant impact on the unique advantage of the A321XLR in the single-aisle segment “Said a spokesperson.

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