Airbus Hints At Plans For A Potential A350neo and A New Narrowbody Aircraft

According to multiple sources, Airbus is looking to design a new narrowbody aircraft, in addition to an A350neo aircraft. The plans, however, are still in their infancy as the A350 itself is still a relatively new aircraft. Currently, Airbus is seeing a mixed reaction to its new engine option program. While some of the new aircraft are selling incredibly well, others have yet to receive serious takeup. Additionally, a new narrowbody would be the company’s first completely new narrow-body aircraft since the hugely successful A320. It would also be the first completely new design since the A350 debuted in 2006.

New Neo Aircraft

The news that Airbus could be looking to develop an A350-neo is related to vast leaps in technology currently being achieved. Currently, the A350 is supplied exclusively with Rolls Royce engines. In contrast, individuals ordering new A380s have a choice of engines. This is what is currently casting a shadow of doubt over Emirates’ most recent A380 order.

Japan Airlines is expecting 31 A350 aircraft. Photo: Airbus

Airbus has been releasing a number of new neo, or new engine option, aircraft as of late. In an effort to replace older aircraft, the neo Airbus aircraft are marketed as more efficient than their predecessors. As such, they have been selling incredibly well for the most part. 60% of all neo aircraft orders are for the A320 family. In contrast, only 10 A330-800 aircraft have been sold so far.

The A350 has been in service for just three years at present, and as such, Airbus likely wouldn’t begin offering a neo option until the mid-2020s. There are currently three versions of the A350 being produced. The A350-900, the A350-900ulr, and the A350-1000. As of the end of September, there had been 890 A350 orders placed, with 212 deliveries. There is, however, no guarantee that Airbus will launch an A350neo, as the airline previously hired staff to design an A380neo, which was scrapped in 2016.

New Narrowbody Aircraft

Airbus is reportedly also hiring staff to design a new narrowbody aircraft. The job adverts reportedly state that two narrow body upgrades will be completed by new staff before designing the new narrowbody aircraft. One of these aircraft would be the A321XLR, a new iteration of the A321LR, with an additional 700nmi range. No official news regarding a new aircraft has yet been released by Airbus.

When do you think we could see a new narrowbody Airbus aircraft? Will Airbus make an A350neo? Let us know in the comments down below!