Those 12 Mercure, which were built, were optimised for Air Inter's network. If somebody else had ordered them, and demanded, say, 2000 miles range, then such a version would have been made. But obviously then with a smaller pax payload.
But on that market it obviously couldn't compete against BAC 1-11, Fokker F-28, DC-9, B-737-200. It was simply too crowded on that market leaving little room for new players.
The Mercure was a fine plane. Otherwise Air Inter wouldn't have flown them day and night for almost 25 years, and ended with scrapping the same number as they bought.
The prototype was shorter than the production examples, and therefore it at least had the potential for a longer range. Air Inter also got that plane into service.
What other airliner can show that record? All examples including the prototype rebuilt for service flew in airline service for decades, and not one accident.
The more I look at it, and the more I look at the A320, the more I think that the A320 should in fact have been named Mercure Mk. II.
It was a good plane. But it arrived too late on a market which was already too crowded.
Best regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs