Ten Airbus A321LRs will join the fleet of the Canadian airline Air Transat, making it the first North American operator of the most capacious narrow-bodied aircraft in the world. Air Transat will receive the aircraft in leasing through a deal with AerCap and plans to begin flights on aircraft from 2019.
“The Airbus A321LRs is based on the model A321neo. The LR variant has an increased range of up to 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km) and provides a 30% reduction in operating costs compared to its closest competitor”, said Airbus in official statement.
“This is the ideal aircraft for the North American market, and especially for such a carrier as Air Transat”, explained Airbus’ chief operating officer for customer service, John Leahy. “This gives operators a highly efficient and affordable modern option for their transatlantic routes, and we look forward to other North American carriers”, added he.
Air Transat has not indicated an engine selection for the twinjets. But it will take delivery of the aircraft from spring 2019 until autumn 2020. Air Transat will configure the aircraft with 200 seats in two classes.
“The A321LRs will perfectly complete the airline’s fleet, which also includes Airbus A330s and Boeing 737s”, said the CEO of Air Transat, Jean-Marc Eustache.
Airbus launched the A321LR on 13 January 2015 with Air Lease Corporation as the launch customer, hoping to sell 1,000 examples of the variant. The initial layout of 164 seats (20 in business, 30 in premium economy and 114 in economy) was replaced by a two-class 206-seat configuration (16 in business and 190 in economy) and range is 4,000 nmi (7,400 km), 500 nmi (930 km) farther than the regular 93.5t MTOW A321. The A321LR is taking the place of the B757 in the middle of the market.