Airbus Thinks It Can Sell 1000 A321XLRS Over 10 Years

While speaking at the Singapore Air Show, a senior Airbus executive said that he is confident that the European planemaker can sell 1,000 A321XLRs over the next 10 years. Airbus is confident that new orders and conversions from other models will help them achieve their lofty target. The A321XLR is a longer-range version of the company’s popular twin-engine single-aisle A321neo aircraft.

airbus-a321xlr
Airbus expects to sell 1,000 A321XLRs in the next ten years. Photo: Airbus

While speaking to reporters at a much depleted Singapore Airshow, in which 70 exhibitors decided to withdraw from the biennial exposition due to fears of the coronavirus epidemic, Airbus Head of Marketing Francois Caudron said he was confident about his prediction.

Airbus has already sold 450 A321XLRs

After having launched the A321XLR last year, Airbus has already sold 450 of the aircraft to clients that include Qantas and Malaysia’s AirAsia Group. Currently, the big topic around the world, and particularly in Asia, is the coronavirus epidemic that has broken out in China. The Airbus executive admitted that carriers in the region had seen a dramatic downturn in traffic, but refused to answer when asked if any Airbus customers had asked to defer deliveries.

Advertisement

International news organization Reuters reports Mr. Caudron as saying:

Advertisement

“Coronavirus is a crisis. I would just remind ourselves we are in a very resilient industry.”

From his perspective, Caudron said that he saw no sign of panic coming from the airlines and that they were all looking long-term with their outlooks.

Advertisement

“When you order an aircraft it is not for the next six months. It is for the next 20 years.”

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, Airbus extended a planned closure of its Tianjin A320 family assembly plant. Concerning the closure, Caudron said that Airbus was watching the situation with the virus closely, but would not give a timeline for when the assembly plant might reopen.

What is so special about the Airbus A321XLR?

The XLR is, on many levels, the same as the Airbus A321LR. The XLR version has larger fuel tanks that give it an additional 700 nautical mile range for a total of 4,700 nautical miles (8,700 kilometers). This increased range is very attractive to airlines wanting to deploy more efficient single-aisle aircraft on long-range routes.

Firstly, it will allow airlines to fly to destinations that did not warrant flights due to a lack of capacity on widebody jets. Secondly, the A321XLR now opens up airports that could not handle bigger aircraft due to a lack of infrastructure. Just looking at the eastern seaboard of the United States, you can see that almost everywhere is within range of Western Europe. While this will appeal to the major North American airlines, it could prove to be a game-changer for travel in general.

airbus-a321xlr
The A321XLR has a 4,700nm range. Image: Airbus

Leaving Ryanair out of the equation due to them hitching their wagon to Boeing, low-cost carrier Wizz Air, who incidentally has 20 A321XLRs on order, can seamlessly incorporate the new aircraft into its all-Airbus fleet.

The A321XLR will allow LCCs to widen their nets

Looking at the map we can see that it would allow the Hungarian airline to fly to most northeast American and Canadian cities from Budapest. From its hub at London Luton, Wizz Air would be able to fly as far as the Rockies.

wizz-air-a321-range
Wizz Air has ordered 20 A321XLRs. Image: GCmaps

Let’s face it; the age of the widebody jet may be coming to an end, except for a select few routes where airlines are confident of selling seats. What do you think about the A321XLR?Is it the game-changer I think it is? Please let us know in the comments.

Advertisement

14
Leave a Reply

5 Comment threads
9 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
atlas

Hmm, they already have 450 orders, and expect to only sell 1000 in 10years?
Why? I would say they will sell 4 times more. XLR is a plane without any competition for at least 5 years.

Robert

I think I read somewhere that when Airbus launched the A320 program back in the 80’s, they hoped to sell 700 copies over its lifetime. See hos that went.

JonesNL

I think he has the A322 in mind when disclosing A321XLR numbers. The A322 will chip of some of the sales of the A321XLR.

Frank

I think Airbus is being conservative in their approach. The 757 sold over 1000 copies in a time when fuel was cheap, and given the numbers so far, I think you’ll see a couple thousand in the skies, at least (as long as Airbus can work out the production issues).

Given the point to point shift, as discussed in the A220 article, I think Airbus is quietly positioning itself to sell the A220 from the 100 pax up to the 175ish mark (with the -500) and then sell the A321 Neo, Lr, XLR and in the future the A322.

Mark Thompson

Design a new plane. No more Frankenplanes like the Max. This is another deathtrap. I will never fly one.

Robert

Riiiight ..
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Moaz Abid

Nice art though

Frank

Well, let’s see – that rules out the 777X and the 737 Max line from Boeing, so you’re left with flying the 787 or older 777’s and the older 737 Ng’s (yet the NG’s are also a ‘frankenplane’ created from the 737 Classic, so forget about them) . From Airbus you can fly the A220’s, the A-350’s, but not the newer A320Neo line, nor the A330Neo line. A-380’s are good, right? We can also find a few Mad Dogs to tools around in, as well as some left over 757’s & 767’s. The B-747-400’s are also a ‘frankenplane’ born out… Read more »

Nate Dogg

Stop smoking that shiiit.

Kade

Good’ole Airbus. Airbus underestimates and always exceeds its goal. Boeing, on the other hand, overestimates and never reaches its goal.

chaim

did you forget the a380? i think that cost german tax payers 600 milion euro if the eu would practice free market like the us does airbus would be gone

kennyweeler

Seriously ? and Boeing does free market right ? Sure !

Frank

Well, there is that little bit of help they got from various levels of US gov’t, but not a penny more then $73 billion. Those bloated military contracts? Well, we don’t talk about those…

Gerry S

Have little doubt that Airbus will succeed. With A380 out of the way production can soar. Right aircraft at the right time.