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Highway1
1st Feb 2018, 14:34
From todays Daily Telegraph

An aircraft that promises to transform long-haul travel, bringing new destinations within reach of budget travellers, has successfully completed its maiden flight.

The Airbus A321LR took off from the manufacturer’s Hamburg factory on Wednesday morning before circling above the North Sea and returning to the German city three hours later.


Now I think its looks a pretty good aircraft and could do quite well although I thought Airbus were spinning a bit with the following claim..

Airbus says the A321LR, flying a long-haul route, can perform 27 per cent cheaper than a Boeing 757, a comparable aircraft.

Well I would hope it is more efficient than an aircraft launched 36 years ago and no longer in production - wouldn't a fairer comparison have been with something like a 787-800 even though it is not a single aisle it still targets similar markets?.

Golf-Sierra
1st Feb 2018, 14:56
According to Reuters the possible target market for the jet is a 757/767 replacement.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-airplane-a321lr/airbus-a321lr-long-range-jet-completes-maiden-flight-idUSKBN1FK1H3

RAT 5
1st Feb 2018, 16:40
I'm not sure how they can suggest a single aisle a/c can replace a twin aisle (B767). That is a pax comfort perception which I thought was established a long time ago. Pax don't like single aisle and 3 abreast seating on long-haul flights. If the world of customer comfort for the masses on long-haul is going to improve then I believe it needs a twin aisle 2-4-2 or 2-3-2. Nobody likes to locked into a seat 2 from an aisle for hours on end. Real progress is going to made when the seat width & seat pitch are improved for the increase in human frame. The difference I find at 6'2" even on short haul between economy & comfort is significant. The width is the same, but the extra 10cms leg room is worth it. The extra width can be designed in both the fuselage & seat design from stage 1. B787 had tried it: I've no experience of A350. Planes average 90% loads year round. That means there are empty seats to fill 2-3 rows, if you understand my meaning. (bit like holes in Blackburn filling the Albert Hall for the OF's out there). Kick out the 3 rows and make economy all comfort and add 10% to the ticket. The prices are so low anyway so let's improve the expereicne and make it less of a hell.
First we need to change the greed culture of airline management and put the ordinary pax back in the frame. The gap between business class service & price, paid for mostly by the tax payer & companies and not by the pax, and economy is disgusting.
I think the whole business model needs a rethink. There was a huge upset when the masses discovered jet travel and charter flying in 60's & 70's. B707, VC10, B727, B737 etc opened doors undreamt of. The market shifted from the privileged to the masses, with concessions retained for the posh. LoCo's have caused another upheaval, but only short-haul. The nationals have responded excellently, but then they still pamper to the business/1st class at the expense of the riffraff. Perhaps the LH business guys are subsiding the mass SH economy. Either way, it would be nice, in 21st century, to have a better experience than it was 30 years ago. It might have improved a little, but not 30 years worth.
12-15hrs in economy, at night, is hell above earth.

SMT Member
1st Feb 2018, 19:34
Oh dear, RAT5, where to start?

Size
Replacing a bigger, older, aircraft with a smaller and newer is the current trend. BA, for instance, are replacing 747s with 787s. Several other airlines are doing the same, or using e.g. 777s, A330s and A350s to replace older 747s. Now anybody who's been upstairs in a 747 will tell you it was the best J-class cabin, but now everybody is relegated to various versions of lie-flat solutions on the main deck of a large twin-jet. Business didn't take a tumble as a consequence; it didn't even register.

Configuration
Only Airbus are using 2-4-2, except on the new A350 which is 3-3-3. The 787 is also 3-3-3, and the vast majority of 777s have gone 3-4-3. Whether you're sitting three abreast in a 777 or A321 makes no difference at all. Pitch is also the same, so from a comfort point of view there's no discernible difference.

Sales
It's actually rare for airlines to even reach 90% average occupancy. But what that means is, for a very large part of the year the flights goes out full. Then there's low season where occupancy takes a dive, and then there's a few weeks a year when 'nobody's' flying. Were you to remove seats for pitch, the only result would be loss of revenue in the period the flights goes out full, and when the airlines make the bread that runs the circus. You couldn't cover those losses with a 10% average fare hike, you're looking at double that. And in this day and age, your average punter doesn't care a jolt who's doing the flying as long as it's the cheapest option.

Economy vs Business
I'm not quite sure what's wrong with a company caring enough for their employees, that the buy very expensive flight tickets for them. I used to work for one who did, and it made long-haul life on the road bearable. Had the policy been economy class anytime and anywhere, which sadly is the case in some companies, I wouldn't have taken the job - not when you spend 100-150 days a year trotting around the globe. As a previous user of premium carriers premium offerings, I'm exceedingly glad they go to the lengths they do. Now, if your average economy passenger was prepared to pay for it, standard eco-class would probably look premium-eco does today. But, that's just not the case. Which is the exact reason premium-eco was introduced, namely to offer a product to the non-average punters who wanted more comfort but couldn't or wouldn't stretch to the J-class fares.

Business-model rethink
Think you need to take a look at Norwegian. As for '30 years ago'; 30 years ago an intercontinental First class seat was not far off present day long-haul premium economy ditto. Granted, food and service was much better, but the hard product left a lot to be desired vis a vis present day offerings.

vapilot2004
1st Feb 2018, 19:56
The 757 is truly a unique airplane. Having power to spare and long legs made it the perfect narrow body trans-Atlantic and trans-continental vehicle if you didn't have the 747 in your fleet. It soon became a favorite for airlines worldwide. The aircraft can never truly be replaced because of the unique performance it offered.

ShotOne
1st Feb 2018, 20:49
Unfortunately that "unique performance" came at a price; the vast majority of the time the 757 was very much over-powered from an accountants viewpoint. As for "never truly replaced", well time moves on.

krismiler
2nd Feb 2018, 15:52
This is an aircraft with upper mid range capabilitiy but will still be suitable for London to Paris. It does a lot of what a B787 will do at lower cost and without needing as many seats to be sold to make a profit.

It will be a good route builder until demand calls for a widebody and could open up new routes beyond current narrow body range but which don't justify a B787.

Tango and Cash
3rd Feb 2018, 00:20
And here based on the title, I thought the thread would be about a supersonic bizjet, supersonic airliner, blended wing airliner, or something, not another wing and tube airplane with a bigger fuel tank

galaxy flyer
3rd Feb 2018, 02:21
Unfortunately that "unique performance" came at a price; the vast majority of the time the 757 was very much over-powered from an accountants viewpoint. As for "never truly replaced", well time moves on.

Thatís what is nice about business jets, you argue over the price of strawberries while no one cares about fuel burns.

GF

chevvron
3rd Feb 2018, 12:27
I'm not sure how they can suggest a single aisle a/c can replace a twin aisle (B767). That is a pax comfort perception which I thought was established a long time ago. Pax don't like single aisle and 3 abreast seating on long-haul flights. If the world of customer comfort for the masses on long-haul is going to improve then I believe it needs a twin aisle 2-4-2 or 2-3-2. Nobody likes to locked into a seat 2 from an aisle for hours on end. Real progress is going to made when the seat width & seat pitch are improved for the increase in human frame. The difference I find at 6'2" even on short haul between economy & comfort is significant. The width is the same, but the extra 10cms leg room is worth it. The extra width can be designed in both the fuselage & seat design from stage 1. B787 had tried it: I've no experience of A350. Planes average 90% loads year round. That means there are empty seats to fill 2-3 rows, if you understand my meaning. (bit like holes in Blackburn filling the Albert Hall for the OF's out there). Kick out the 3 rows and make economy all comfort and add 10% to the ticket. The prices are so low anyway so let's improve the expereicne and make it less of a hell.
First we need to change the greed culture of airline management and put the ordinary pax back in the frame. The gap between business class service & price, paid for mostly by the tax payer & companies and not by the pax, and economy is disgusting.
I think the whole business model needs a rethink. There was a huge upset when the masses discovered jet travel and charter flying in 60's & 70's. B707, VC10, B727, B737 etc opened doors undreamt of. The market shifted from the privileged to the masses, with concessions retained for the posh. LoCo's have caused another upheaval, but only short-haul. The nationals have responded excellently, but then they still pamper to the business/1st class at the expense of the riffraff. Perhaps the LH business guys are subsiding the mass SH economy. Either way, it would be nice, in 21st century, to have a better experience than it was 30 years ago. It might have improved a little, but not 30 years worth.
12-15hrs in economy, at night, is hell above earth.
Most pleasant flight I've had recently was short haul single aisle/4 abreast - in an Emb 195 Heathrow to Warsaw. Nice and light in the cabin due to huge (almost Viscount[remember those?]) size windows.
Pity the cabin service was so bad.

Private jet
4th Feb 2018, 10:43
Thatís what is nice about business jets, you argue over the price of strawberries while no one cares about fuel burns.

haha yes! (+this for minimum message length)

ehwatezedoing
4th Feb 2018, 12:30
I am sure passengers (who cannot afford private jet) would happily go single aisle long hauls over having to stop multiple times on their way to final destination. Missing connections and loosing luggage while at it...


Yes, the ending of “hubs” Now that would be a transformation of long haul travels.

krismiler
4th Feb 2018, 13:54
Aircraft capabilities improve and travel markets change. Back in the early days, Shannon Ireland was a necessary fuel stop before going trans Atlantic, Bahrain was similar for Far East flights. As range improved, they could be overflown. Emirates realised the potential of the new generation of aircraft which could fly non stop to anywhere in the world from Dubai and created a hub airline.

Now narrow body airliners can fly much greater distances and more people are flying, a new area opens up. More powerful and efficient engines mean more weight can be carried and less fuel burnt. Aerodynamic improvements help further, and a four hour range expands to nearly eight, allowing routes which would previously have required a wide body’s range to be flown by something half the size.

An airline which would previously have had to buy a new fleet for longer range, can now try new routes with their current fleet involving far less risk if it doesn’t work out. Utilisation improves as short flights can easily be fitted in around longer ones.

The A321LR is a game changer.

Andy_S
4th Feb 2018, 14:45
Like the A380........

SMT Member
4th Feb 2018, 17:01
Like the A380........

If half the wide-body order Airbus lands were for the A380, you'd have a point. As it is, 50% of their narrow-body line is of the A321N variety, whilst the Boeing rival languishes with less than 10% of orders. That's pretty much the definition of game changing.

PS
WoW Air already operates the longest A32xN service, KEF-TLV. They're now talking about KEF-LAX and KEF-SFO. Imagine that, LAX to TLV on a narrow-body with just one stop enroute. No, I wouldn't either, but the fact it'll soon be a possibility speaks volumes of the capabilities of the aircraft.

larssnowpharter
4th Feb 2018, 17:44
Once flew Sacramento to Brize Norton in a narrow body with no stops. Much the same as San Francisco to Keflavik. Time taken 11 hrs 05 mins.

This was 1977 in a Vickers Funbus. Seems we haven't progressed that much in 40 years.

LiamNCL
4th Feb 2018, 19:40
If half the wide-body order Airbus lands were for the A380, you'd have a point. As it is, 50% of their narrow-body line is of the A321N variety, whilst the Boeing rival languishes with less than 10% of orders. That's pretty much the definition of game changing.

PS
WoW Air already operates the longest A32xN service, KEF-TLV. They're now talking about KEF-LAX and KEF-SFO. Imagine that, LAX to TLV on a narrow-body with just one stop enroute. No, I wouldn't either, but the fact it'll soon be a possibility speaks volumes of the capabilities of the aircraft.

WOW have actually already flew the A21N from LAX to KEF according to FR24 History on the 24th JAN TF-SKY flew the route instead of the scheduled A333 & Feb 3rd the same aircraft flew SFO - KEF. It seems like an awesome aircraft to be able to fly those routes.

Carbon Bootprint
4th Feb 2018, 20:22
Once flew Sacramento to Brize Norton in a narrow body with no stops. Much the same as San Francisco to Keflavik. Time taken 11 hrs 05 mins.

This was 1977 in a Vickers Funbus. Seems we haven't progressed that much in 40 years.
Correct, the punters that pay the bills haven't progressed and by many measures have probably regressed. The stockholders of most airline shares have been doing OK, though; isn't that all that counts these days?

krismiler
5th Feb 2018, 04:41
The A321LR is a derivative of an existing design so development costs would be minimal compared to a whole new aircraft. The A380 is a niche aircraft which only works for certain airlines on certain routes and has little second hand value.

The A321LR is an easy fit into most airlines from third world low cost to premium full service and can be sold at a competitive price because it’s a variant rather than a new type. Initial teething troubles should be minimal with an established design.

Unlike the A380 or B787 it can do smaller regional airports making it very versatile. I can see it being a big success.