It is always exciting when an aerospace manufacturer announces a new aircraft. Airlines can ponder everything from how they might fit it out to how it would look in their livery and where they would deploy the aircraft. With the Airbus A321XLR, the longest range single-aisle aircraft in the world pushing 4,700 nautical miles, airlines are spoilt for choice.
But where would an airline use this aircraft? And which routes would be the most profitable? Let’s explore a few destinations.
What type of routes are best for the A321XLR?
The A321XLR has a range of around 4,700 nautical miles. This means it would be perfectly suited for routes that are long range, but either don’t require the capacity of a twin-aisle aircraft like an A330 or the airport can’t actually take a big aircraft (due to a shorter runway).
The aircraft can also be used on higher capacity domestic routes that the potential Boeing 797 would be suited for (such as Sydney to Melbourne).
Dubai to Cape Town
With a distance of 4,115 nautical miles, Dubai to Cape Town easily falls into the range of the A321XLR.
London to Miami / Tampa
Flights to Florida are very popular from London, with Virgin Atlantic sending six Boeing 747s in one day for tourists heading to Orlando. But the other cities on the Gulf state are just as important, but don’t have direct services to the British capital.
The A321XLR could leap across the 3,845 nautical mile route in a single bound, but would not be as expensive as a larger Boeing 747 to operate.
Tokyo to Sydney
Tokyo to Sydney is already a very popular route, being flown by several carriers between the two respectively large cities. However, a low-cost carrier that deployed the cheap-to-run A321XLR could potentially clean up on the 4,211 nautical mile route.
Jetstar already operates the A321XL and could upgrade their order to the larger A321XLR variant to fill this niche of holidaymakers. They currently fly a 787 Dreamliner to Japan.
Kozhikode to Jeddah
This might seem like an obscure example, but in 2016 over 130,000 people flew between these two cities in India and Saudi Arabia and had to make a stop in-between. Whilst today there is a direct flight with Spicejet, an airline deploying the A321XLR on this route would potentially clean up in profits.
New York to Dubrovnik
Surprisingly, a flight from New York to the magical fort city of Dubrovnik in Croatia doesn’t exist. The tourist attraction has quickly become one of the top things to see in Europe and could easily be connected with the A321XLR.
What do you think? Are there any other routes that would be lucrative for this new airplane?