Airbus has officially launched the A321neo with 97 tonnes Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) having secured the first commitment from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). The Los Angeles based lessor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 30 more A321neo, upsizing its commitments at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow from 60 to 90 and becoming the launch customer for Airbus’ increased range option.
The A321neo 97t will have, with 4,000nm, the longest range of any single aisle airliner available today and tomorrow, making it ideally suited to transatlantic routes and will allow airlines to tap into new long haul markets which were not previously accessible with current single aisle aircraft.
“We are excited to be the first to sign for the new longer range version of the A321neo,” said Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Air Lease Corporation’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “ALC wants a footprint in every promising market segment, including ones that can be opened by this new version of the A321neo. We pride ourselves in being able to provide our customers with the very latest, most innovative products and solutions.”
“We are delighted to officially launch the A321neo 97t option with ALC,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “ALC is a forward-looking company who has once again demonstrated its confidence in Airbus' latest products and innovations just six months after being a launch customer for the A330neo.” He added: “The longer haul single aisle market is a lucrative one that the A321neo will now dominate, thanks to the aircraft’s superior comfort, economics and range. This new version of the A321neo is a high revenue generating aircraft which will open up many new opportunities for our customers.”
Under the assumption that ALC’s MoUs for 30 A321neo aircraft plus 25 A330neo Family become firm orders, ALC’s total orders for Airbus aircraft would stand at 258 (53 A320ceo Family, 140 A320neo Family, 15 A330 Family, 25 A350 XWB Family and 25 A330neo Family).
The A321 97t variant is building on the continued innovations brought to the A320 Family with Airbus Cabin-Flex (ACF), which offers passengers the highest standards of comfort while providing great flexibility and profit optimisation to airlines. Thanks to an additional fuel tank in the forward underfloor hold of the aircraft, as well as minor improvements on the wing and fuselage, the A321neo 97t will be able to fly 206 passengers on longer routes of up to 4,000 nm in a comfortable two-class layout. First deliveries will have started by 2019.
The newest member of the best-selling A320 Family, the A320neo, incorporates new generation engines and Sharklets which together will deliver 20 percent in fuel savings by 2020. At the end of December 2014, firm orders for the NEO reached over 3,600 aircraft from 70 customers.