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chiad
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Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:04 am

Bloomberg reports that Airbus is
Quote:
pouring resources into the A321XLR even as it pulls back spending on other projects to save cash

and
Quote:
European planemaker sees it as resistant to the historic collapse in demand for aircraft brought on by the coronavirus


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-12/airbus-presses-new-jet-effort-seen-as-impervious-to-demand-slump

Could it be that Airbus believes the A321XLR will replace much of pre-covid19 widebody services?
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Opus99
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:08 am

Definitely makes a lot of sense. It will especially for non legacy carriers and transatlantic or longhaul intra asian routes The 321XLR is going to sell in thousands. This is the aircraft you want to be marketing when airlines are coming back from this.
 
DaCubbyBearBar
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:42 am

I would do exactly what Airbus is doing!! Boeing has so much on its plate, it will take them at least 2-3 years to respond, maybe longer, IMO. Maybe longer. By then, you could see this plane at AA, DL, UA, F9, NK, and possibly AS here in the US.
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pythoniels
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:49 am

The XLR I guess would be a gamechanger, similar to the 757 back in the 80/90s, but with the fleet commonality, this bird must be an even greater success than the popular 757.

Would be interested to see which airlines will choose to install a proper business class rather than the 3x3 with middle seat blocked.

Within Europe, I guess TK/LH/BA could all benefit from this plane for thinner African routes.
 
fcogafa
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:51 am

'Stepping up development' infers bringing forward, but there is no change. "The goal is to ensure that the XLR enters service on time in 2023". The article also says the A220 is being slowed down.
 
vahancrazy
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:04 am

pythoniels wrote:
The XLR I guess would be a gamechanger, similar to the 757 back in the 80/90s, but with the fleet commonality, this bird must be an even greater success than the popular 757.

Would be interested to see which airlines will choose to install a proper business class rather than the 3x3 with middle seat blocked.

Within Europe, I guess TK/LH/BA could all benefit from this plane for thinner African routes.


My bet is: European legacy carriers will have 320NEO and 321NEO fleet with standard euro-business seats for flights under 4h (according to destination value) and a separate 321XLR fleet with proper business seat for premium destinations and new destinations.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:11 am

fcogafa wrote:
'Stepping up development' infers bringing forward, but there is no change. "The goal is to ensure that the XLR enters service on time in 2023". The article also says the A220 is being slowed down.


They more said that A321 XLR development continues at full speed, despite the slowdown in most other things in passenger airline industry.

The reason is clear: A321 XLR is likely 2x as relevant today as it was before. And it was already super relevant. You do not want to fly a 777 with 150 people in it.
 
StTim
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:59 am

I suspect they want to eek every possible item out of this bird so they will spend some additional engineering cash to ensure it delivers. It will carry Airbus through some difficult times.
 
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zkojq
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:21 am

vahancrazy wrote:
pythoniels wrote:
The XLR I guess would be a gamechanger, similar to the 757 back in the 80/90s, but with the fleet commonality, this bird must be an even greater success than the popular 757.

Would be interested to see which airlines will choose to install a proper business class rather than the 3x3 with middle seat blocked.

Within Europe, I guess TK/LH/BA could all benefit from this plane for thinner African routes.


My bet is: European legacy carriers will have 320NEO and 321NEO fleet with standard euro-business seats for flights under 4h (according to destination value) and a separate 321XLR fleet with proper business seat for premium destinations and new destinations.


TAP is already doing this for their A321neoLRs I believe.
First to fly the 787-9
 
KFLLCFII
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:44 am

Really?

Planes are being parked by the thousands, resale values have been tanking, crews are being furloughed or laid off by the tens of thousands, demand has been decimated and may not return to the same level for at least a decade...long after the qualified crewmembers who would have flown the additional metal found other careers while an absence of would-be new-hires from regionals are missing in the pipeline (or newer pilots who outright just never gained enough flight time) because they had been in the same boat and found work elsewhere.

Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:50 am

chiad wrote:
Could it be that Airbus believes the A321XLR will replace much of pre-covid19 widebody services?

I agree with this. I expect downgauging on all levels. A330CEO and 767 medium haul routes will then get downgauged to the A321XLR.

It isn't all bad news for Boeing as they have the smallest and lightest long haul aircraft in production. The 787-8 will capture most of the 777W, 747, A380 replacements.

I am surprised that Airbus does not make a A220-100LR. Simply using the MTOW of the 300 model it would create a 4000+nm narrowbody.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:55 am

As someone else said, this is the plane of the future moving out of this.

It makes perfect sense to fast track this.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:01 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
Really?

Planes are being parked by the thousands, resale values have been tanking, crews are being furloughed or laid off by the tens of thousands, demand has been decimated and may not return to the same level for at least a decade...long after the qualified crewmembers who would have flown the additional metal found other careers while an absence of would-be new-hires from regionals are missing in the pipeline (or newer pilots who outright just never gained enough flight time) because they had been in the same boat and found work elsewhere.

Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.


I think you just made a good case for a new round of mergers! Anyway, too bad no eonomic availability (or viability) for a long-range, 175 capacity widebody! How about an A310NEO! (?)
 
Exeiowa
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:11 pm

EIS dates always seem to slip, stepping up is probably assigning more resources to keep it on track, as they think this will be the right aircraft for the market in the coming years. With likely deferment and cancellations for other A320 family aircraft availability will not be the stumbling block it might have otherwise been for them to reach a critical mass. While at the same time back filling those slots. Its probably better than waiting for someone else to do this.
 
pythoniels
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:18 pm

vahancrazy wrote:
pythoniels wrote:
The XLR I guess would be a gamechanger, similar to the 757 back in the 80/90s, but with the fleet commonality, this bird must be an even greater success than the popular 757.

Would be interested to see which airlines will choose to install a proper business class rather than the 3x3 with middle seat blocked.

Within Europe, I guess TK/LH/BA could all benefit from this plane for thinner African routes.


My bet is: European legacy carriers will have 320NEO and 321NEO fleet with standard euro-business seats for flights under 4h (according to destination value) and a separate 321XLR fleet with proper business seat for premium destinations and new destinations.
I would truly hope so, like EI/TP do etc to challenge the competition with other, mostly larger legacy carriers. It can be a game changer, 2x 321LXR rather than 1x 330/777.
 
Opus99
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:29 pm

vahancrazy wrote:
pythoniels wrote:
The XLR I guess would be a gamechanger, similar to the 757 back in the 80/90s, but with the fleet commonality, this bird must be an even greater success than the popular 757.

Would be interested to see which airlines will choose to install a proper business class rather than the 3x3 with middle seat blocked.

Within Europe, I guess TK/LH/BA could all benefit from this plane for thinner African routes.


My bet is: European legacy carriers will have 320NEO and 321NEO fleet with standard euro-business seats for flights under 4h (according to destination value) and a separate 321XLR fleet with proper business seat for premium destinations and new destinations.

So as in BA operating an A321 to New York?
 
Bricktop
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:31 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
Really?

Planes are being parked by the thousands, resale values have been tanking, crews are being furloughed or laid off by the tens of thousands, demand has been decimated and may not return to the same level for at least a decade...long after the qualified crewmembers who would have flown the additional metal found other careers while an absence of would-be new-hires from regionals are missing in the pipeline (or newer pilots who outright just never gained enough flight time) because they had been in the same boat and found work elsewhere.

Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.

This is a very pessimistic but I regret that I agree. Airlines are in survival mode, and will be for well into the foreseeable future. Many more are going to go belly up. Mergers will not occur for any growth unlike the past. They will be for more cost-cutting and asset rationalization. I think OEMs can wipe their behinds with their backlogs. They are going to the right if they are going to happen at all. Longhaul won't return to 2019 levels for half a decade at least, and growth beyond that will be nothing like the rate that was forecast in the past. Very sad days for AvGeeks.

Now from the Airbus POV, it's a smart move if only to keep the engineering talent productive. That's their gold.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:33 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
You do not want to fly a 777 with 150 people in it.

Nor an A330neo, according to AirAsia X. They were already saying before CV19 that A321neo was so effective they were looking to reduce their A330 commitment. There will be some collateral damage, but that's the price of progress.

Any word on PW GTF PIPs? I vaguely recall they had scheduled their first PIP for 2019 but that was before their problems with bearings/seals etc. Is PW and CFM going to be as proactive as Airbus asserts it is being?

Also, why does it take four years to do this change? They seemed like they had the design roughed out last year. They aren't changing any of the exterior lines so it should not be a long flight test campaign. Basically they're adding some strengthening (like they've done many times before), changing the layout of some bulkheads, maybe rerouting some cables etc but not major surgery as far as we know. Seems like something they could bang out in two years rather than four if they really felt the need, no?

pythoniels wrote:
I would truly hope so, like EI/TP do etc to challenge the competition with other, mostly larger legacy carriers. It can be a game changer, 2x 321LXR rather than 1x 330/777.

I also hope so. I live in the Northeast USA and can see potential for a lot of new opportunities that I can use as TATL narrow bodies become a thing.
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MIflyer12
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:41 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.


Finances are universally ugly right now but most carriers need a long-term fleet strategy. Some are unlikely to survive beyond the next 18 months... they shouldn't even be buying toilet paper in Costco-sized packs.

IMHO, the XLR won't revolutionize intercon travel but it will help sell more 321neos as carriers take advantage of commonality. Even with the EWR hub (its domestic connections plus NYC-secondary TATL demand) I don't see how UA uses 50 XLRs, but until they're all delivered the number isn't relevant. The absence of A350 deliveries to UA from the 2009 order shows that. Orders for a specific type don't have value beyond press release bragging rights any more. So many type conversions and deferments... and we haven't even started the big round of bankruptcy restructurings (allowing carriers to cancel orders) or carrier liquidations yet.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:56 pm

fcogafa wrote:
'Stepping up development' infers bringing forward, but there is no change. "The goal is to ensure that the XLR enters service on time in 2023". The article also says the A220 is being slowed down.


I found that comment interesting. Resources are being put into A321XLR and being pulled back from A220. It doesn’t surprise me. The A321XLR likely is Airbus’ most profitable plane since Airbus charges a 10% premium for it whereas the A220 is losing money.
 
pythoniels
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:03 pm

Opus99 wrote:
vahancrazy wrote:
pythoniels wrote:
The XLR I guess would be a gamechanger, similar to the 757 back in the 80/90s, but with the fleet commonality, this bird must be an even greater success than the popular 757.

Would be interested to see which airlines will choose to install a proper business class rather than the 3x3 with middle seat blocked.

Within Europe, I guess TK/LH/BA could all benefit from this plane for thinner African routes.


My bet is: European legacy carriers will have 320NEO and 321NEO fleet with standard euro-business seats for flights under 4h (according to destination value) and a separate 321XLR fleet with proper business seat for premium destinations and new destinations.

So as in BA operating an A321 to New York?
BA on the other hand, perhaps to extend their African network, not the USA. BA uses premium heavy plans on majority of their US bound flights for which they can use many different types 777/788/789/35K, each with their own strategy, varying from many F/C to many Y seats. they can easily adapt to the current market. USA is an important market for BA, don't see the 321LXR work for them, perhaps just a very limited number of smaller airports the 321LXR would work.
 
ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:17 pm

fcogafa wrote:
The article also says the A220 is being slowed down.

More precisely, the article says:

"While it’s pulled back on investments -- slowing the ramp-up of its A220 single-aisle, for example -- Airbus has added resources to the A321XLR..."

Just in case someone interprets it as reducing current monthly production 8-)
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:47 pm

On the other side of this, Airbus needs an aircraft that will sell at a good profit. For years there will be a widebody surplus.

No matter what Airbus does, airlines will return widebodies to leasors and cancel deliveries. If they produce a smaller aircraft with more range, they would at least transfer orders. Some orders will come from Boeing.

This is a boon to the recovery of geographically well positioned airports: BOS, DUB, AUH, DOH, DXB, SIN, and if they expanded MEX.

We all knew this A321xLR would increase narrowbody market share, now it will do far more.

A350 production is at a surplus to market demand (as is the 787), that means it will take time to absorb the capacity.

AirAsiaX is an interesting case that deserves its own thread.

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
fcogafa wrote:
The article also says the A220 is being slowed down.

More precisely, the article says:

"While it’s pulled back on investments -- slowing the ramp-up of its A220 single-aisle, for example -- Airbus has added resources to the A321XLR..."

Just in case someone interprets it as reducing current monthly production 8-)


I'm sad the A220 production ramp is slowed. But market demand rules.

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2eng2efficient
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:24 pm

Opus99 wrote:
vahancrazy wrote:
pythoniels wrote:
The XLR I guess would be a gamechanger, similar to the 757 back in the 80/90s, but with the fleet commonality, this bird must be an even greater success than the popular 757.

Would be interested to see which airlines will choose to install a proper business class rather than the 3x3 with middle seat blocked.

Within Europe, I guess TK/LH/BA could all benefit from this plane for thinner African routes.


My bet is: European legacy carriers will have 320NEO and 321NEO fleet with standard euro-business seats for flights under 4h (according to destination value) and a separate 321XLR fleet with proper business seat for premium destinations and new destinations.

So as in BA operating an A321 to New York?


What about BA operating an A321 to BNA? Instead of a 78X.

New York will always be a premium-heavy widebody market, unless we see another SST.
 
tomcat
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:40 pm

If this transition from wide bodies to long haul narrow bodies would materialize, this would permanently squeeze the belly cargo capacity supply. The demand for cargo airplanes would then be somewhat stimulated which would be the only segment of the market that Boeing could take advantage of in the short term. What could happen though is that the XLR would primarily be operated on routes with low cargo demand and that a small fleet of wide bodies would be retained to cover the routes where cargo demand would be sufficient to help sustaining their operating costs. In any case, the overall air transport market is bound to find a new balance in the coming years and that evolution will be interesting to observe.
 
EssentialBusDC
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:44 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.


Finances are universally ugly right now but most carriers need a long-term fleet strategy. Some are unlikely to survive beyond the next 18 months... they shouldn't even be buying toilet paper in Costco-sized packs.

IMHO, the XLR won't revolutionize intercon travel but it will help sell more 321neos as carriers take advantage of commonality. Even with the EWR hub (its domestic connections plus NYC-secondary TATL demand) I don't see how UA uses 50 XLRs, but until they're all delivered the number isn't relevant. The absence of A350 deliveries to UA from the 2009 order shows that. Orders for a specific type don't have value beyond press release bragging rights any more. So many type conversions and deferments... and we haven't even started the big round of bankruptcy restructurings (allowing carriers to cancel orders) or carrier liquidations yet.


The XLR for United isn’t just for EWR. IAD and ORD to Europe, DEN to Hawaii for example. Possibly IAH headed south as well. Covid notwithstanding, there could be new markets opened due to the efficiency and range as compared to the 757. Obviously the demand isn’t there currently. But 3 or 4 or more years from now is a different environment.
 
Opus99
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:55 pm

2eng2efficient wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
vahancrazy wrote:

My bet is: European legacy carriers will have 320NEO and 321NEO fleet with standard euro-business seats for flights under 4h (according to destination value) and a separate 321XLR fleet with proper business seat for premium destinations and new destinations.

So as in BA operating an A321 to New York?


What about BA operating an A321 to BNA? Instead of a 78X.

New York will always be a premium-heavy widebody market, unless we see another SST.

Maybe. However That started off as a -8 at 92% load factor on average which is why it was bumped up to a -10. I see very little use for an XLR at BA. Especially if we are assuming 2019 levels in 2024. Maybe routes like Cairo and TLV & IST at best
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:34 pm

tomcat wrote:
If this transition from wide bodies to long haul narrow bodies would materialize, this would permanently squeeze the belly cargo capacity supply. The demand for cargo airplanes would then be somewhat stimulated which would be the only segment of the market that Boeing could take advantage of in the short term. What could happen though is that the XLR would primarily be operated on routes with low cargo demand and that a small fleet of wide bodies would be retained to cover the routes where cargo demand would be sufficient to help sustaining their operating costs. In any case, the overall air transport market is bound to find a new balance in the coming years and that evolution will be interesting to observe.


Cargo is more important than ever, yet the XLR is terrible at hauling cargo long distances compared to a widebody. It’s an interesting catch 22 that can spur demand for more freighter conversions.
 
airzona11
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:26 pm

I still struggle that if demand is depressed, the answer is more point to point on smaller planes. If demand is down, price becomes more important, more expensive P2P long haul vs Hub to spoke long haul. Airlines are not going to charge the sub $1000 fares when there are only 150 Y seats to seats vs 200+ on widebodies.

On core domestic networks, I see this plane doing well, I just don't see a ton of narrowbodies flying long haul in a depressed market.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:02 pm

airzona11 wrote:
I still struggle that if demand is depressed, the answer is more point to point on smaller planes. If demand is down, price becomes more important, more expensive P2P long haul vs Hub to spoke long haul. Airlines are not going to charge the sub $1000 fares when there are only 150 Y seats to seats vs 200+ on widebodies.

On core domestic networks, I see this plane doing well, I just don't see a ton of narrowbodies flying long haul in a depressed market.


A lot of people agree with you, but in my experience, people over-emphasize the benefits of flying a 777-300ER with 440 seats in it and getting a super fuel economy per seat mile. That's not the actual real world situation facing airlines. They are facing a situation where around 100 customers are willing to pay excellent money to fly. And another 100 ok money. And the rest, willing to play almost nothing. So it's your choice... do you want to make money flying a small plane, or lose money flying a big plane?

If you have a fleet of 747s, you might as well fill them up. But if you analyze flying a 757 or an A321 XLR, your revenue may be EQUAL. You only lose revenue in peak season on peak days. Meanwhile, on the cost side, the added cost hits you every single day, in devastating amounts (look at the monthly financials for a struggling flight. The sight of millions of dollars burning up makes you stop loving the big plane).

Post-9/11, SARS, COVID, you name it, many long periods of industry stress. Let's not only solve for an "everything is perfect" false world, we need to make mony ine the real world.
 
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:17 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
tomcat wrote:
If this transition from wide bodies to long haul narrow bodies would materialize, this would permanently squeeze the belly cargo capacity supply. The demand for cargo airplanes would then be somewhat stimulated which would be the only segment of the market that Boeing could take advantage of in the short term. What could happen though is that the XLR would primarily be operated on routes with low cargo demand and that a small fleet of wide bodies would be retained to cover the routes where cargo demand would be sufficient to help sustaining their operating costs. In any case, the overall air transport market is bound to find a new balance in the coming years and that evolution will be interesting to observe.


Cargo is more important than ever, yet the XLR is terrible at hauling cargo long distances compared to a widebody. It’s an interesting catch 22 that can spur demand for more freighter conversions.

Cargo is more important as the passenger cabins are too empty to justify flights. When we return to normal, there will be so many widebodies flying TATL, including those BA 787-10 cargo haulers, that yields will plummet.

In that market, pursue passenger yield.

Widebodies won't fully disapear. But on routes where the spoke isn't a cargo hub, they will be less viable.

I see many xLR opperating to a few secondary airports, bypassing the impacted hubs.

JetBlue will add TATL from JFK and BOS. IAG will open up DUB. The ME3 will fill out their route maps.

We'll have widebodies, but on premium heavy or cargo heavy routes. I see the xLR opening up TATL length routes just as the A320 and 738 opened up TCON routes. Eventually, the majority went to narrowbody.

I like hub bypass. If I can avoid a stop, I will always pick the direct within a 20% fare premium.

The plane has been ordered in quantity and once the NEO backlog is reduced, we'll see demand rise.

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vinniewinnie
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:18 pm

I just don’t understand why people are being so pessimistic. Yes Covid has depressed the market, but pretty much everybody is saying that by 2024 it will be back where it was. Airlines don’t make fleet decisions based on one or two years depressed demand!

Furthermore, while there is no demand, fuel is cheap. That decreases the cost of flying widebodies, even half full.

I believe the real reason why airbus is investing in this air airplane is because of environmental concerns. Airbus knows that a lot of aid is tied at least in Europe to become greener. The A321 can be by far the cleanest airplane. This plus the fact that it can serve thin routes makes it a winner!
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:22 pm

Bricktop wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
Really?

Planes are being parked by the thousands, resale values have been tanking, crews are being furloughed or laid off by the tens of thousands, demand has been decimated and may not return to the same level for at least a decade...long after the qualified crewmembers who would have flown the additional metal found other careers while an absence of would-be new-hires from regionals are missing in the pipeline (or newer pilots who outright just never gained enough flight time) because they had been in the same boat and found work elsewhere.

Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.

This is a very pessimistic but I regret that I agree. Airlines are in survival mode, and will be for well into the foreseeable future. Many more are going to go belly up. Mergers will not occur for any growth unlike the past. They will be for more cost-cutting and asset rationalization. I think OEMs can wipe their behinds with their backlogs. They are going to the right if they are going to happen at all. Longhaul won't return to 2019 levels for half a decade at least, and growth beyond that will be nothing like the rate that was forecast in the past. Very sad days for AvGeeks.

Now from the Airbus POV, it's a smart move if only to keep the engineering talent productive. That's their gold.


I tend to agree with you both, and yes, demand will take a long time to recover.
I would even guess that passenger airliner manufacturing could probably disappear for a couple of years, and no capacity shortage would be observed.

But we also know this is not going to happen. Airframers could be, for all we know, basically "jobs programs" for now, and the governments will not let them go out of business. By hook or by crook, they'll be kept alive, and some deliveries will happen. Airlines are kept on life support, across the world -- and they are way less strategic, compared to aircraft industry, so don't expect Boeing and Airbus to just die.

Question: would it be better, if they kept making planes that make no sense at all to buy and operate in the current environment? Or would it be better, if at least some of their products made sense, for their customers to buy and operate?

It looks like A321XLR actually does make sense in a downturn like this. Is it better for airlines to be, somehow, getting delivered this plane, or a plane that makes less sense?
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Galwayman
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:37 pm

Great news , such a fabulous aircraft . Might as well make hay while Boeing is still a mess
 
voxkel
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:45 pm

I think TATL to markets like Buffalo, Hartford/Bradley, Providence, Louisville, Columbus could finally be feasible with this jet.
 
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enzo011
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:05 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
Really?

Planes are being parked by the thousands, resale values have been tanking, crews are being furloughed or laid off by the tens of thousands, demand has been decimated and may not return to the same level for at least a decade...long after the qualified crewmembers who would have flown the additional metal found other careers while an absence of would-be new-hires from regionals are missing in the pipeline (or newer pilots who outright just never gained enough flight time) because they had been in the same boat and found work elsewhere.

Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.



Producing aircraft is a risky endeavor at the best of times and as you post there are so many factors that seem to indicate both OEM's should be more cautious in their approach. However unless coronavirus becomes a long term problem, in which case we will have bigger things to worry about than the A321XLR, it is predicted that things will return to normal. When they do you want to be on the front foot when it comes to offering airlines what they need.

The A321XLR is not a new design that will have risk attached to it on the certification and production front or the financial front. The competitor will be too busy focusing on getting the 737 back in service and arresting the bleeding from the 787 and 777X programs (same as Airbus on the A350 and A330neo in fairness) to focus on the A321 right now. It is the right time to take the risk by spending money on the development of the A321XLR to have it ready if/when things return to normal.
 
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:05 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
Bricktop wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
Really?

Planes are being parked by the thousands, resale values have been tanking, crews are being furloughed or laid off by the tens of thousands, demand has been decimated and may not return to the same level for at least a decade...long after the qualified crewmembers who would have flown the additional metal found other careers while an absence of would-be new-hires from regionals are missing in the pipeline (or newer pilots who outright just never gained enough flight time) because they had been in the same boat and found work elsewhere.

Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.

This is a very pessimistic but I regret that I agree. Airlines are in survival mode, and will be for well into the foreseeable future. Many more are going to go belly up. Mergers will not occur for any growth unlike the past. They will be for more cost-cutting and asset rationalization. I think OEMs can wipe their behinds with their backlogs. They are going to the right if they are going to happen at all. Longhaul won't return to 2019 levels for half a decade at least, and growth beyond that will be nothing like the rate that was forecast in the past. Very sad days for AvGeeks.

Now from the Airbus POV, it's a smart move if only to keep the engineering talent productive. That's their gold.


Question: would it be better, if they kept making planes that make no sense at all to buy and operate in the current environment? Or would it be better, if at least some of their products made sense, for their customers to buy and operate?

You're missing Option Three: Would it be better to keep building White Tails for the sake of building White Tails until you run out of parking spaces, while each one continues to put you further into the red?
Phosphorus wrote:
It looks like A321XLR actually does make sense in a downturn like this. Is it better for airlines to be, somehow, getting delivered this plane, or a plane that makes less sense?

You're missing Option Three: Is it better for airlines to be getting delivered any plane at all, while their current ones (at similar capacity to these new-builds) can't even feasibly run higher-frequency short-haul in this environment, let alone low-frequency long-haul? And if it gets to a point where the virus (and distancing) is no longer a concern and demand happens to come roaring back sooner rather than later, is it better for airlines to be getting delivered an expensive, relatively higher-CASM narrowbody for long-haul when there's such a glut of lower-CASM widebodies ready and able to flood the market around that time?

Proceeding with the A321XLR at full-steam ahead right now is as useful as was proceeding full-steam ahead with the A380 in 2000.
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
KFLLCFII
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:16 pm

enzo011 wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
Really?

Planes are being parked by the thousands, resale values have been tanking, crews are being furloughed or laid off by the tens of thousands, demand has been decimated and may not return to the same level for at least a decade...long after the qualified crewmembers who would have flown the additional metal found other careers while an absence of would-be new-hires from regionals are missing in the pipeline (or newer pilots who outright just never gained enough flight time) because they had been in the same boat and found work elsewhere.

Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.

When they do you want to be on the front foot when it comes to offering airlines what they need.

That need was however long ago it would have taken for airlines to now have a fleet of fully paid-off A321XLRs...not new builds/new purchases right now, or a few years from now.

enzo011 wrote:
It is the right time to take the risk by spending money on the development of the A321XLR to have it ready if/when things return to normal.

When things return back to normal, the A321XLR will be a solution to a problem which, by definition, will have already been in the past.

Building the A380mkII is not "being on the front foot"...It's "tripping over your rear foot".
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:00 pm

I recall how much JetBlue and the A320 changed TCON flying in the USA. I remember here people were posting the preference for widebodies or how convenient hubbing is (was?). I'm trying to recall the last time I flew to the East Coast (I live between LAX and LGB) on a flight that wasn't a narrowbody. Short term, airlines must return widebodies. Mid-term, they must offer what customers want and frequency has been at the top of the requested list.

It is worth noting who is ordering and what advantage each airline should gain from the A321xLR
https://simpleflying.com/airbus-a321xlr-orders-2/
AA: 50. Besides replacing the 752, this was for East coast USA to mid-size European cities. IMHO, I see growth being slowed, but not so much. Passengers will still be concerned about contact for years, so bypassing hubs is a good thing.
UA: 50, the first 40 replace 752. So a small growth of existing service. The slightly extended range should help (e.g., to South America from Houston).
QF: 36, the plan was to expand the network to Asia. I see that being delayed a bit, but the strategy seems right.
AirAsiaX: 30, I would be cautious about predicting if these will be taken up until AirAsia (in particular AirAsiaX) is on better economic footing.
Wizz Air: 20, this is to expand to 7 to 8 hour routes (recall, high density). This is an airline keeping a simple fleet and growing
AirArabia: 20. This is a great way for the airline to keep a simple fleet and expand to Europe, Africa, and more of Asia.
VietJet: 15, a low risk way to start long haul routes.
Frontier: 18 Officially, this ULCC is being less ambitious (coast to coast and Hawaii service). Their configuration is too dense for TATL, but they will go more international.
JetBlue: 13. I definitely see growth from BOS and JFK across the Atlantic. I would expect more service to South America too.
JetSmart: 13, a way to expand further while keeping a high density configuration.
Sky: 10, also a way to expand while keeping the fleet simple.
Cebu Pacfic: 10, due to their ULCC configuration, it will take the xLR to fly further. I would be shocked if this doesn't become a much larger order considering how their main competition isn't efficiently run.
Flynas: 10, mid-east to EU, Africa and Asia
Iberia: 8 (Just enough range for some TATL...)
Czech airlines: 7 (I'm not as confident on this order, but then again, I don't know their plans as well.)
Air Lingus: 6 (a nice start to fragment TATL to operate a growing hub at DUB)

Airbus has enough sales, they need to get the development complete.

I personally am a huge fan of frequency. I find myself taking early morning flights, mid day flights, redeyes... all dependent upon what I need the day I am flying.

2023 isn't that far away. I fully expect more airlines to order the A321xLR, but of course not now.

Long haul flying is incredibly expensive, with such a tiny portion of the cost the purchase price of the aircraft. If yield can be improved by right sizing the service offered, we just might see an earlier recovery of airlines.

Lightsaber
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MIflyer12
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:06 pm

lightsaber wrote:
I recall how much JetBlue and the A320 changed TCON flying in the USA.


Yeh? Then you also recognize that AS terminated VX's A320/321 T-con flying. How many T-con lie-flats flights were AA and B6 operating daily? No big deal. There was no revolution.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:56 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
Really?

Planes are being parked by the thousands, resale values have been tanking, crews are being furloughed or laid off by the tens of thousands, demand has been decimated and may not return to the same level for at least a decade...long after the qualified crewmembers who would have flown the additional metal found other careers while an absence of would-be new-hires from regionals are missing in the pipeline (or newer pilots who outright just never gained enough flight time) because they had been in the same boat and found work elsewhere.

Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.

And now is exactly the time to spend money for a new (even if a niche) airliner that will be ready when customers are ready; create the demand and reap the benefits, follow the demand and only crumbs will be left for you. As of right now, Airbus is creating the demand and Boeing...
 
KFLLCFII
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:22 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
Really?

Planes are being parked by the thousands, resale values have been tanking, crews are being furloughed or laid off by the tens of thousands, demand has been decimated and may not return to the same level for at least a decade...long after the qualified crewmembers who would have flown the additional metal found other careers while an absence of would-be new-hires from regionals are missing in the pipeline (or newer pilots who outright just never gained enough flight time) because they had been in the same boat and found work elsewhere.

Sure, airlines are going to spring at this opportunity in 5 years for expensive new metal while they can't even afford to get their existing metal in the air and no one's answering at Dial-A-Pilot.

And now is exactly the time to spend money for a new (even if a niche) airliner that will be ready when customers are ready; create the demand and reap the benefits, follow the demand and only crumbs will be left for you. As of right now, Airbus is creating the demand and Boeing...


When the customers are "ready", it means that COVID has passed...and if COVID has passed, it means that the demand for a relatively higher-CASM longer-range narrowbody which is more advantageous for "distancing" versus a lower-CASM widebody which is less advantageous for "distancing" will have also passed. In other words...

When Airbus is "ready" to deliver the A321XLR, any new customers who would have purchased it due to its COVID advantage against widebodies will probably no longer need it and opt back for the glut of cheap, widely available widebodies because COVID has passed.

Airbus is not creating customer demand...They are creating a program more beneficial to their community (and less to their bottom line) than to who they (and many here) perceive as potential customers. And it wouldn't be the first time.

As for Boeing, as a business, sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something for the sake of doing something...Especially if it takes from the bottom line.
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:28 pm

Or, they are maintaining their long-term erm R&D capabilities by putting it on the most likely option they have for breaking even in the mid-term.
 
tphuang
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:31 am

lightsaber wrote:
This is a boon to the recovery of geographically well positioned airports: BOS, DUB, AUH, DOH, DXB, SIN, and if they expanded MEX.

I'm sad the A220 production ramp is slowed. But market demand rules.

Lightsaber

I think you missed on an obvious one, FLL/MIA. As much as this will help JFK, there is still a bunch of important markets like TLV, GRU, HND, HKG that it will not be able to reach. Out of south Florida, XLR will be able to hit all the major South American markets + the 2 largest European market in LON and MAD. That's going to be a huge boon for LCC operating A320 fleet type out of FLL. And the interesting thing is that LR just missed a lot of these markets. So the incremental capabilities offered by XLR really helps here.

I would've thought that A220XLR project would make sense too for the same reason A321XLR is getting this much intention. Even smaller aircraft and even lower total operating cost. Even easier to breaking even.

A321XLR was always going to replace widebodies on a lot of medium haul market. With the drop in lucrative business demand, the value of A321XLR just got even higher.

Delta was always the hold out here because it believed that it can achieve premium over competition in front cabin by offering more space, which is probably not possible with single aisle. If businesses are struggling coming out of this, it's hard for me to see how they can get the same premium in business class. With AA/UA/B6 all taking XLR orders, I think this aircraft will be all over the place by 2025.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:32 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I recall how much JetBlue and the A320 changed TCON flying in the USA.


Yeh? Then you also recognize that AS terminated VX's A320/321 T-con flying. How many T-con lie-flats flights were AA and B6 operating daily? No big deal. There was no revolution.

JetBlue has 34 A321s with Mint per Wikipedia. TCONs ran 3 flights per day, plus runs JFK-FLL for the lie flat product (about 12% of the fleet).

But I said changed my flying. My last TCON widebody was 22 years ago and I've flown TCON a lot in those years. I expect BOS -EDI or a dozen other routes to be opened up by longer range narrowbodies.

Passengers prefer fewer connections. I know the last time I bridge hubbed (multiple hubs) was 1998 for a wedding in an tough to reach small city.

As hundreds of the A321xLR were already sold, I think we can be certain of a change in 2023 onward.

Lightsaber
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lightsaber
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:40 am

tphuang wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
This is a boon to the recovery of geographically well positioned airports: BOS, DUB, AUH, DOH, DXB, SIN, and if they expanded MEX.

I'm sad the A220 production ramp is slowed. But market demand rules.

Lightsaber

I think you missed on an obvious one, FLL/MIA. As much as this will help JFK, there is still a bunch of important markets like TLV, GRU, HND, HKG that it will not be able to reach. Out of south Florida, XLR will be able to hit all the major South American markets + the 2 largest European market in LON and MAD. That's going to be a huge boon for LCC operating A320 fleet type out of FLL. And the interesting thing is that LR just missed a lot of these markets. So the incremental capabilities offered by XLR really helps here.

I would've thought that A220XLR project would make sense too for the same reason A321XLR is getting this much intention. Even smaller aircraft and even lower total operating cost. Even easier to breaking even.

A321XLR was always going to replace widebodies on a lot of medium haul market. With the drop in lucrative business demand, the value of A321XLR just got even higher.

Delta was always the hold out here because it believed that it can achieve premium over competition in front cabin by offering more space, which is probably not possible with single aisle. If businesses are struggling coming out of this, it's hard for me to see how they can get the same premium in business class. With AA/UA/B6 all taking XLR orders, I think this aircraft will be all over the place by 2025.

You make good points. I'll first address Delta, they bought A330NEOs as DL can earn more of a premium, even in the back cabin.

My posts are always too long. I intentionally cut a half dozen hubs I think will thrive with the A321xLR. The #1 advantage is that many airlines will bypass going to widebodies, heavily reducing the startup costs for longhaul: JetBlue, Frontier, Sky. IMHO, it will be the Asian ULCCs and Wizz that make the most of the type.

The A220 needs more sales, but is ok for now. I too thought it was the right aircraft for the times. If I was an airline CEO trying to repurpose deposits at Airbus, it would be high on my list. But Airbus has to prioritize spending now. TheA321xLR is a wise choice.

Lightsaber
Winter is coming.
 
WAC
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:50 am

lightsaber wrote:
tphuang wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
This is a boon to the recovery of geographically well positioned airports: BOS, DUB, AUH, DOH, DXB, SIN, and if they expanded MEX.

I'm sad the A220 production ramp is slowed. But market demand rules.

Lightsaber

I think you missed on an obvious one, FLL/MIA. As much as this will help JFK, there is still a bunch of important markets like TLV, GRU, HND, HKG that it will not be able to reach. Out of south Florida, XLR will be able to hit all the major South American markets + the 2 largest European market in LON and MAD. That's going to be a huge boon for LCC operating A320 fleet type out of FLL. And the interesting thing is that LR just missed a lot of these markets. So the incremental capabilities offered by XLR really helps here.

I would've thought that A220XLR project would make sense too for the same reason A321XLR is getting this much intention. Even smaller aircraft and even lower total operating cost. Even easier to breaking even.

A321XLR was always going to replace widebodies on a lot of medium haul market. With the drop in lucrative business demand, the value of A321XLR just got even higher.

Delta was always the hold out here because it believed that it can achieve premium over competition in front cabin by offering more space, which is probably not possible with single aisle. If businesses are struggling coming out of this, it's hard for me to see how they can get the same premium in business class. With AA/UA/B6 all taking XLR orders, I think this aircraft will be all over the place by 2025.

You make good points. I'll first address Delta, they bought A330NEOs as DL can earn more of a premium, even in the back cabin.

My posts are always too long. I intentionally cut a half dozen hubs I think will thrive with the A321xLR. The #1 advantage is that many airlines will bypass going to widebodies, heavily reducing the startup costs for longhaul: JetBlue, Frontier, Sky. IMHO, it will be the Asian ULCCs and Wizz that make the most of the type.

The A220 needs more sales, but is ok for now. I too thought it was the right aircraft for the times. If I was an airline CEO trying to repurpose deposits at Airbus, it would be high on my list. But Airbus has to prioritize spending now. TheA321xLR is a wise choice.

Lightsaber


Your posts are not too long Lightsaber. You listen.You read the other posters. You respond with a coherent and logic arguments. Does not matter how long the response is...
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:24 am

tphuang wrote:
I would've thought that A220XLR project would make sense too for the same reason A321XLR is getting this much intention. Even smaller aircraft and even lower total operating cost. Even easier to breaking even.

The A220XLR would also be fairly simple development. My idea would be to simplify production and make the A220-100XLR a simple shrink of the A220-300. Both models would then share the same wing, wingbox, landing gear, engine thrust rating and takeoff weights. The A220-100 has a few unique parts beside just a shorter fuselage.

My calculations show it would allow the A220-100 to fly 3800nm with max fuel capacity of 17,760kg and with the current max payload of 15,100kg. The aircraft would be fuel capacity limited as it would still be 2000kg below the MTOW of the A220-300.

The XLR process would be required to add more fuel. 4000kg would be the ideal amount in an extended centre tank. This would allow 120 passengers with their bags and the fuel tank to be fully filled to hit the 69.9t MTOW. Reports from Air Baltic show the A220 burns roughly 2000kg of fuel per hour so there will be 2 hours of additional flight time. At 450 knots that is 900nm of additional range on top of the current brochure range of 3,400nm. This gives a range of 4,300nm for the A220-100XLR before we consider any minor engine or aerodynamic tweaks.

The A321XLR had aerodynamic tweaks, wing strengthening, a higher MTOW and higher thrust engines that were completely new to the family.

If point to point really takes off then another option would be a A320XLR. A simple shrink of the current A321XLR down to A320 fuselage length would see the range go up to 5500nm.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:36 am

vinniewinnie wrote:
I believe the real reason why airbus is investing in this air airplane is because of environmental concerns.

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

That was a good one. AS IF corporations ever do anything without a significant financial incentive, and 1off aid that may not even be available based on trade rules, ain't that.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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DLHAM
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:05 am

lightsaber wrote:
I
UA: 50, the first 40 replace 752. So a small growth of existing service. The slightly extended range should help (e.g., to South America from Houston).


I heard they are looking at adding 11 new destinations in Europe and North Africa with the XLR, that sounds like a bigger growth.
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