Azores Airlines Receives First Airbus A321LR

Azores Airlines has today taken delivery of their first Airbus A321LR from Airbus in Hamburg. The aircraft is the first of three to join the airline, to be leased from ALC. It will enable the airline to unlock new destinations with its 4,000 nautical mile range.

Azores Airlines Airbus A321LR Stopover
Azores Airlines received their first Airbus A321LR from Airbus today. Photo: Airbus

The Airbus A321LR is the latest iteration of the successful Airbus A321. The aircraft will soon be succeeded in range by the Airbus A321XLR, announced at the recent Paris Air Show. However, the LR already has an impressive range of 4,000 nautical miles. As Azores Airlines only operates the A320 family, the aircraft will allow the airline to unlock new destinations.

First of three

With today’s delivery, Azores Airlines will receive the first of three Airbus A321LRs to join the fleet. These new aircraft will join the airline’s five existing aircraft. This consists of three Airbus A320s with classic engine options, and two Airbus A321s with new engine options.

With the increased range of the Airbus A321LR, new doors will be opened for Azores. Indeed, with the aircraft, the carrier will be able to access the whole of Europe along with large parts of Africa, North America, and some of South America.

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So who is Azores Airlines?

Azores Airlines was founded in 1990, going on to commence operations in 1991. The airline was initially known as OceanAir. However, after operations were suspended in 1994, it was rebranded as SATA Internacional with operations resuming four years later in 1998. It wasn’t until 2015 that the airline received its Azores Airlines branding.

The new Iceland?

Iceland is a nation with a huge tourism industry. To this end, Icelandair operates a successful hub and spoke model. Rather than operating point to point across the Atlantic, Icelandair offers passengers flights with one stop in Iceland. However, they can choose to make this a stopover, meaning at no extra flight cost, they can spend a night or two in Iceland en route.

Azores Airlines Airbus A321LR Stopover
Frankfurt to New York is only 365 miles more flying via the Azores Islands instead of Iceland. Image: GCMaps

According to Airbus, the new Airbus A321LR aircraft will allow Azores Airlines to expand its network in Europe. However, it will also allow the airline to commence transatlantic flights to serve North America. Maybe travellers who fancy a change from the typical stopover will consider the Azores Islands? By all accounts, Azores Airlines’ Airbus A321 is a pleasant experience according to Simple Flying’s Arran.

Taking Frankfurt to New York City as an example, going via the Azores Islands only covers 365 miles more than going via Iceland. Hardly a huge detour in the grand scheme of things.

What do you make of Azores Airlines’ shiny new Airbus A321LR? Would you fly to North America on it? Let us know in the comments!

5 comments
  1. What I love about the A321 LR and XLR is that they give smaller players (countries and/or airlines) the means to create an effective transport network, independent of the whims of large network carriers. Great to see the “underdogs” getting a bite of the apple 👍

  2. I’m sure I’ll take the possibility of flying to Europe from New York with one stop. Two very short flights. This is a great option especially that they use low-cost aircraft that reduce the costs. What I hope will be expressed even at a cheaper price than other airlines that use large aircrafts

    1. It’s interesting to see a second stopover location emerging. As much as Iceland is fantastic, the Azores have a certain appeal too!

      1. The Azores are absolutely beautiful!
        And somewhat warmer than Iceland 😏
        Their location, however, is not optimal as regards Great Circles between Europe and the USA.

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