Icelandair confirmed an order for 13 Airbus A321XLRpartially confirming a memorandum of understanding revealed in April by the Icelandic airline that operated so far a 100% Boeing fleetthe European aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday.
The A321XLR (for eXtra Long Range, very long range) are the latest additions to the Airbus A320 single-aisle family. Their entry into service is scheduled for the second quarter of 2024. Capable of providing flights of ten hours and 8,700 km with up to 244 passengers on board, these aircraft will make it possible to operate with a single aisle, saving money, connections which until now could only be done by wide-body aircraft.
” We are very pleased to announce that we have now finalized the purchase agreement with Airbus. The efficient A321XLR will further strengthen our business model, increase our flexibility and provide opportunities for future growth, while further supporting our sustainability efforts. The delivery of the first aircraft is scheduled for 2029, but we expect to have four Airbuses in service before the summer of 2025 and we have now secured the lease of new A321LR aircraft with our long-standing partner SMBC Aviation Capital Limited said Bogi Nils Bogason, CEO of the Icelandic airline.
Icelandair, which will also lease four A321LRs, with a range slightly lower than the XLR and already on the market, announced in April the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for the acquisition of up to 25 A321XLRs. The four A321LRs leased to SMBC Aviation Capital Limited will arrive in the Icelandic company’s fleet from 2025, while it will therefore be necessary to wait until 2029 for the first A321XLRs at Islandair. This firm order materializes a significant change in the strategy of the Icelandic airline, whose fleet of 48 aircraft was until now composed solely of Boeing.