• Airbus's A321XLR dribbles Boeing's 797

    From Aviation HQ@2:292/854 to All on Tue Jun 11 14:41:52 2019
    American Airlines is considering purchasing the new Airbus A321XLR (Xtra Long Range), insiders report to Bloomberg news agency. If that happens, then that's a setback for the Boeing 797 program.

    The A321XLR, which may already be unveiled at the Paris Air Show soon, will, according to the latest information, have a maximum take-off weight of more than 100 tonnes and a flight range of 8700 kilometers. That is 1300 kilometers more than the already existing A321LR.

    With these specifications, the aircraft could easily fly from Heathrow to for example Chicago or Delhi; flights of around 8 to 9 hours.

    According to Bloomberg sources, American Airlines is now considering purchasing this aircraft. The company is looking for a successor for its 34 remaining Boeing 757-200s, which are almost due for replacement with an average age of nineteen years.

    If American Airlines opts for the A321XLR, this means a setback for Boeing and its new 797. American is seen, together with United and Delta, as one of the most important potential customers for this aircraft that is yet to be developed.

    Although it is not excluded that American will go for the XLR and 797, the order for the latter aircraft will then be smaller. Due to doubts about the business case, Boeing had to postpone a decision about the development of the 797 until 2020.

    The 797 becomes a small widebody with a similar flight range as the XLR, which follows the 757 and 767. Because it is a completely new design, it will certainly take until 2025 before the first planes can be delivered.

    Airbus, which hopes to undermine the business case for the 797, needs at least two years less for the XLR. American could also convert part of her order for one hundred "normal" A321neos to the Xtra Long Range variant.

    Fortunately there is also good news for Boeing. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker said last week that he is very impressed with what he has heard about the 797 and that he therefore wants to become the launch customer.

    --- D'Bridge 3.99
    * Origin: AVIATION ECHO HQ (2:292/854)