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Airbus quietly announces A321XLR

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Airbus quietly announces A321XLR

Old 18th Apr 2019, 16:16
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Airbus quietly announces A321XLR

TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) - Airbus sales chief Christian Scherer said it is selling longer-range versions of its A321, while signaling a shift away from chasing market share at any cost and predicting Boeing will emerge quickly from the grounding of its rival 737 MAX.

Scherer, who took on the top sales role in September, told Reuters that Airbus is seeing more demand for longer-range versions of roughly 200-seat planes previously used for medium-haul routes, blurring boundaries with bigger jets.

"We are selling increased range on the A321. People are telling us this is a great module, give me more range. (We say) we will give you the maximum range we can on the A321: how many would you like? That is what we are doing," he said in his first substantial interview in his new role.

Scherer's remarks are the strongest indication yet that Airbus has quietly launched the A321XLR, a keenly awaited new version of its single-aisle plane that competes with the 737 MAX and could brush up against a proposed new Boeing mid-market jet.

Airbus and Boeing compete ferociously for sales of single aisle jets like the MAX and A320 or A321 and the effort to expand Airbus' lead in the market for its cash cow predates last month's grounding of the 737 MAX following two crashes.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 17:19
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Originally Posted by Smythe View Post
Scherer's remarks are the strongest indication yet that Airbus has quietly launched the A321XLR, a keenly awaited new version of its single-aisle plane that competes with the 737 MAX and could brush up against a proposed new Boeing mid-market jet.
Notwithstanding what Reuters say, I'd suggest that if and when Airbus go ahead with the A321XLR, it will be anything but a quiet launch.

Whether that's imminent is anyone's guess - with the Max issues distracting Boeing from any early announcement on the MMA/NMA, there's no pressure on Airbus to act particularly quickly.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 17:54
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Concur, but they keep teasing it. The recent statement by United must have B a bit concerned. 40 ac is not going to launch a B MMA, but is a nice tic for the XLR

Given the current state of engine manufacture, it may be difficult for anyone to add anything at this point.

Last edited by Smythe; 18th Apr 2019 at 18:04.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 20:25
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The A321XLR is a cheap and easy upgrade for Airbus, it can be done simply by increasing fuel tank capacity at the expense of payload. Carry less passengers farther is a good compromise for many airlines.
An increase in MTOW is also possible but would probably not be large given the existing airframe.
The combination of the A321XLR and a small A330 conveniently covers the market gap which Boeing cannot fill without spending billions of dollars and maybe 5 years on the MMA.
Interesting times........
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 20:51
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Does anyone see a new wing on the Airbus family as a future possibility? Thatís how Boeing moved the 737 into the new millennium, though I understand the potential there was larger due to the legacy design.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 00:31
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A while back, they were talking about a new wing for the 321, dubbed the 322..

Leehanews said today that production for the A321XLR is already sold out until 2023, launch expected at Paris Airshow.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 00:47
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Does anyone see a new wing on the Airbus family as a future possibility?
I hope so. That way altitude capability will be increased as well as cruising mach no. From what I have heard of the Max it is invariably bumping around the tops of the weather on the NA tracks. I expect the same from the A321LR based on what our trainers are saying about it ahead of its arrival into our fleet.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 02:15
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Sorry - and I may be alone here - but for anyone who first travelled long-haul in the 70s and 80s when long haul meant 747s, DC-10s and L1011s, the idea of an XLR A321 feels like yet another retrograde step in aviation, akin to stepping back into the 707s or DC-8s narrowbody long-haul era....

If the 757 taught us anything, it was that long haul and narrow-body really don't mix.... with the possible exception of Donald Trump's Biz-Jet(!)

There has to be a better way!
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 02:25
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Originally Posted by er340790 View Post
Sorry - and I may be alone here - but for anyone who first travelled long-haul in the 70s and 80s when long haul meant 747s, DC-10s and L1011s, the idea of an XLR A321 feels like yet another retrograde step in aviation, akin to stepping back into the 707s or DC-8s narrowbody long-haul era....

If the 757 taught us anything, it was that long haul and narrow-body really don't mix.... with the possible exception of Donald Trump's Biz-Jet(!)

There has to be a better way!
Love to see a Re-engined 757 though.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 04:41
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"quietly announce" what with a press release. Too funny.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 04:41
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Originally Posted by er340790 View Post
Sorry - and I may be alone here - but for anyone who first travelled long-haul in the 70s and 80s when long haul meant 747s, DC-10s and L1011s, the idea of an XLR A321 feels like yet another retrograde step in aviation, akin to stepping back into the 707s or DC-8s narrowbody long-haul era....

If the 757 taught us anything, it was that long haul and narrow-body really don't mix.... with the possible exception of Donald Trump's Biz-Jet(!)

There has to be a better way!

Actually, I think the 757 taught us that people
like non stop flights


Itís worked very well on the N Atlantic going into smaller cities in the UK and Europe from the US


Passengers I spoke to regularly told me how much they liked the convenience of not having to connect and departing from where they lived


Iíd prefer to ride on a 747 everywhere if given a choice but itís all about economics
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 08:15
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Originally Posted by stilton View Post

Actually, I think the 757 taught us that people
like non stop flights
.....
Passengers I spoke to regularly told me how much they liked the convenience of not having to connect and departing from where they lived
True for business passengers (and even not for all of them).
However, passengers travelling for their own mainly (more than 95%) prefer cheap prices, whichever the conditions of transport are.....
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 08:17
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Originally Posted by er340790 View Post
Sorry - and I may be alone here - but for anyone who first travelled long-haul in the 70s and 80s when long haul meant 747s, DC-10s and L1011s, the idea of an XLR A321 feels like yet another retrograde step in aviation, akin to stepping back into the 707s or DC-8s narrowbody long-haul era....
I remember 707s feeling quite civilized, in the old days, on eight-hour sectors. Depended on the seating density, of course, but in many ways preferable to being in the middle block of four on a 747.

Four hours in a 737 feels horrible to this old fat man, but in a 320 it's OK--shows a couple of inches can make a big difference.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 09:10
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Originally Posted by FlightlessParrot View Post
I remember 707s feeling quite civilized, in the old days, on eight-hour sectors. Depended on the seating density, of course, but in many ways preferable to being in the middle block of four on a 747.

Four hours in a 737 feels horrible to this old fat man, but in a 320 it's OK--shows a couple of inches can make a big difference.
A 737 has exactly the same fuselage cross section as a 707. As you say, it depends on the seating layout.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 10:20
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I had occasion to fly economy from Bahrain to London on a Gulf Air A320ER - 6hrs 45 mins. When I checked-in and found out it was an A320 rather than the usual 787 I was a bit concerned. However, it turned-out to be one of the most relaxing flights I've had to/from this region and was certainly better than economy in a 787.

Digressing, I flew economy on a 350 for the first time the other day and, to me, this was noticeably better than the 787. Health warning - I'm comparing a Qatar 350 against a BA 787.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 18:52
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Iíve heard rumours that Airbus looked at new wing to the existing airframe but ran in to problems joining the two. As a result, as far as I understand it, airbus has completely scrapped continued work on new wing for existing airframes and that will come only when they launch completely new narrow body aircraft. Question is how long that will be......

CP
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 23:16
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As a result, as far as I understand it, airbus has completely scrapped continued work on new wing for existing airframes and that will come only when they launch completely new narrow body aircraft.
Queue CS100/300!

(I mean the A220-100 and A220-300!)
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Old 20th Apr 2019, 06:00
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Originally Posted by Alan Baker View Post
A 737 has exactly the same fuselage cross section as a 707. As you say, it depends on the seating layout.
Yes, I know, but I don't have the same cross-section as I did when the 707 was flying, nor do a lot of other passengers. Single aisle doesn't have to mean the same fuselage dimensions as the aircraft of the 1950s.
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Old 20th Apr 2019, 07:48
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Originally Posted by er340790 View Post
Sorry - and I may be alone here - but for anyone who first travelled long-haul in the 70s and 80s when long haul meant 747s, DC-10s and L1011s, the idea of an XLR A321 feels like yet another retrograde step in aviation, akin to stepping back into the 707s or DC-8s narrowbody long-haul era..
100%

the world is going backwards
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Old 20th Apr 2019, 09:49
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The 787 showed us that smaller aircraft going point to point is a winner. Qantas are supposed to be loving the yield on theirs, much less capacity than the 747 it replaces but this seat scarcity drives up yields massively.

So if it works replacing 747s with 787/A350s, why not in the single aisle market, so A321XLR replaces A330/B767 where possible?

I'll give a Northern UK centric idea on why I'd be happy to fly an Airbus over the Atlantic. I live minutes from Leeds/Bradford, but to go anywhere means traipsing to Manchester. I recently went to Belfast on Ryanair, had to be Manchester. Airfare was £10 each way, time about 60 minutes. But to get to Manchester I had to take the train to/from the airport, cost me £25 and took 2 hours each way! So doubled the cost of the flight and tripled the journey time plus necessitated changing trains etc. No if they went direct from Leeds/Bradford in a Cessna 152 I'd have taken it over all the faff of travelling to a gateway airport.

The future is definitely smaller jets doing point to point.

G
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