June 17 (UPI) — Airbus on Monday unveiled a new version of its A321 at the Paris Air Show, saying the new airliner has a longer range than the old model and offers “unbeatable fuel efficiency.”
The French plane maker showed off its new A321XLR at Le Bourget Airport, and said it has a range 15 percent further than the current A321. The added range means the jetliner could fly routes from India to Europe, China to Australia or Europe to the Americas at a lower operational cost, the company said.
“With this added range, airlines will be able to operate a lower-cost single-aisle aircraft on longer and less heavily traveled routes — many of which can now only be served by larger and less efficient wide body aircraft,” Airbus said in a statement.
The A321XLR is expected to go into service by 2023.
Airbus said upon its unveiling Monday, it’s received several new orders for the A321XLR — including 27 to Los Angeles-based Air Lease Corp.
A direct competitor to the Boeing 737, the A321 has been in service since 1988. Boeing’s newest 737 variants, the Max 8 and Max 9, remain grounded as the company works to finalize a software upgrade to the automated flight system investigators say was responsible for two deadly crashes in Indonesia ad Ethiopia.