Air Malta has shared its intention to fly to the United States with its future Airbus A321XLR aircraft. The airline will introduce two of the planes in 2024 and it plans to operate them on long-haul routes to destinations such as New York.
ATW Online reports on the Maltese flag carrier’s plans. The firm spoke about its ideas at the World Aviation Outlook Summit in Malta on December 5.
The A321XLRs will be sourced from fellow Maltese outfit Malta Medair. Air Malta hopes to use them to connect travelers across other continents to its country. The company wants both US tourists and Malta’s expatriates to have greater links to the island via its services.
It is not only the United States that the airline will be seeking to travel to with its upcoming aircraft. It has confirmed that it also has plans to connect with India.
This is because Air Malta chairman Charles Mangion wants to capitalize on India’s growing local economy. This is set to develop even further in the next decade.
“An India connection is important if the local economy is to continue to grow,” Mangion told ATW Online.
The A321XLR is the perfect aircraft to help Air Malta to expand on its long-haul operations. The XLR in its name stands for extra-long-range. This is because the airline will be able to serve between 185 to 236 passengers up to 4,700 nautical miles. Meanwhile, it will burn 30 percent less fuel than its previous-generation counterparts.
Currently, Air Malta holds 10 A320s, with three of them being A320neos. However, the carrier is also planning to eventually introduce two more A320neos in order to gradually phase out its A320ceos.
The A321XLR has been in high demand since its introduction at the Paris Air Show in June 2019. Yesterday, it was reported that Chilean low-cost carrier SKY Airline signed a Purchase Agreement with Airbus for 10 of the jets to help with its international expansions.
This news followed United Airlines’ order for 50 of the long-range aircraft. These deliveries will also start from 2024, at a deal estimated to be worth $7.1 billion. Meanwhile, Saudia Arabian LCC flynas confirmed a firm order for 10 A321XLRs at the Dubai Air Show last month.
With Boeing struggling over the last year due to the 737 MAX groundings, many other airlines could also be enticed to follow suit and jump on the A321XLR bandwagon.
Simple Flying reached out to Air Malta for comment on its plans for the A321XLR but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.
What do you think of Air Malta’s plan to serve the United States and India with the Airbus A321XLR? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.