The benchmark A320 Family’s largest member – the A321 – offers airline customers the best seat-mile costs of any single-aisle aircraft and seating capacities comparable to that of a widebody jetliner.
This aircraft has a stretched fuselage with an overall length of 44.51 metres, along with an extended operating range of up to 3,000 nautical miles while carrying a maximum passenger payload. Like each member in Airbus’ A320 Family of jetliners, the A321 offers the lowest fuel burn, emissions and noise footprint in its class.
The twin-engine A321 can be powered by either of two engine options: the CFM International CFM56 or International Aero Engines’ V2500. With a range of up to 4,000nm /7,400km., the A321 is capable of flying longer routes, for example transatlantic flights from Europe to U.S east coast.
The A321 typically accommodates 185 passengers in a two-class configuration (16 in business class and 169 in economy) – while offering unbeatable economics in high-density seating (with up to 220 passengers) for charter and low-cost operators.
From 2018, an optimised use of cabin space, increased exit limits and a new cabin door configuration will enable new standard capacities for the A321neo (new engine option) of 206 in a two-class configuration and 240 passengers in high-density.
New engine option
The industry-leading efficiency of Airbus’ A320 Family – of which the A321 is a member – is being further enhanced with the service introduction of its new engine option jetliner (NEO) versions. Incorporating Airbus’ “Sharklets” and two new engine choices, the A320neo Family offers maximum benefit with minimal changes from baseline A319s, A320s and A321s – delivering per seat fuel improvements of 20 per cent, along with additional range of up to 500 nautical miles/900 km. or 2 tonnes of extra payload.
For the A321neo, Airbus is increasing seating capacity with optimised use of cabin space, increased exit limits and a new cabin door configuration. This “Cabin-Flex” option will increase the jetliner’s maximum certified capacity to 240 seats, while still accommodating Airbus’ modern comfort standard of at least 18-inch wide seats.
The A321LR – a new variant of Airbus’ A321neo, deliveries of which will begin in 2019 – will have the longest range of any single-aisle jetliner, able to fly routes of up to 4,000 nm. It is ideally suited to transatlantic routes, and enables airlines to tap into new long-haul markets that were not previously accessible with current single-aisle aircraft.
A family approach
The A321 benefits from operational commonality with its fellow A320 Family members, providing carriers with tremendous versatility in matching aircraft to specific route requirements. All A320 Family aircraft share a single type rating – allowing pilots to fly any member of the Family after attending only one training course and enabling the same team of mechanics to maintain an aircraft.
With only minimal additional training, pilots also can transition quickly from these single-aisle jetliners to Airbus’ larger long-range aircraft quickly thanks to the unique family concept and their exceptional degree of operational commonality.
Longest cabin, widest appeal
While passengers benefit from the A321’s state-of-the-art cabin design, airlines profit from the unique operational versatility of Airbus’ single-aisle aircraft – with the option to provide wider seats and enhanced comfort; a markedly wider aisle for faster boarding and easier cabin movement; and even a hybrid layout. Overall passenger comfort is further enhanced by the A321’s optional in-flight entertainment systems.
The A320 Family’s wide fuselage also offers unmatched cargo capability for operators. Its four members are the only single-aisle aircraft offering containerised cargo, with the A321 capable of carrying up to 10 standard LD3-46W containers in the lower deck holds – enabling interlining without special ground handling equipment.