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VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:50 am

Can someone please tell us when the first prototype will be assembled?

It is an important information I need for my speculations.
 
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enzo011
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:54 am

KFLLCFII wrote:
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.

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".


I don't see how the XLR would be a A380mkII. It is not a new aircraft that will cost billions to develop and produce and the seating capacity is not anywhere close to what the A380 brought to the table, as in a huge jump in capacity compared to what else is on offer.


KFLLCFII wrote:
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...


Except the trend before Covid-19 was for airlines to reconsider their widebody purchases. The pandemic just made this a bigger reality for the OEMs and airlines. I think it is generally accepted on here that there was going to be a slowdown of 787, A350 and 777X orders in the medium term and now we are not just seeing a slowing down but cancellations. It seems to me that if anything post-Covid is actually the best time for a narrowbody aircraft that is able to fly long distances. Airlines will want to focus on improving yields and you do not do that by adding more seats.
 
flipdewaf
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:17 am

KFLLCFII wrote:
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...



I would wager that the XLR has as low of a cash cost per seat unit distance than anything else on sale today, it’s full operating cost per seat may be only beaten by its similarly categorised aircraft (A321, LR and max 10) and the increase in total CASM being due to the ability to charge higher prices due to unique abilities.

This last piece is why airbus is prioritising...

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Opus99
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:44 am

IMHO. The XLR won’t completely change how we travel but it’s going to sell A LOT and it’s going to make long haul travel much more competitive and unlock new routes between secondary cities. In the U.K. think Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff. Etc. Operating transatlantic out of these airports or other long haul destinations. I think the XLR would be limited with massive carriers who operate out of major hubs. They will still buy the XLR though for their medium-haul. However, I don’t see the XLR as a killer of big jets, it’s just creating a new market. Big jets will still be the backbone of long haul travel, especially if we are saying demand will be back in 23/24 and if you consider things like cargo. Also There are still thousands of routes that operate 350 seater aircrafts at 85% load factor (in normal times) nobody is going to replace that with an XLR. But what an XLR will do is unlock many new connections. For example. QR launched Accra recently (obvious that’s now on hold) but it’s not a nonstop service. It was a DOH-LOS-ACC-LOS-DOH service which is operated by a 787-8. Now it’s obvious Accra doesn’t have the numbers to fill a -8(yet) for QR at least. This would be perfect for 150-180 seater XLR that still has a nice premium cabin and nice economy seats. I think the XLR will be fantastic at unlocking a lot of African routes to Europe and the Middle East to feed connections on said 350 seater jets going to major cities, there’s a lot of connection travel to get out of many cities in Africa and the XLR will change this. Or looking at other cities in the US maybe PHL-EDI etc. That’s what I think. Oh and APAC as well. The XLR is probably going to be most popular in the APAC region
 
oschkosch
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:09 am

A321XLR is definitely the big game changer of NB planes! Way to go Airbus :-)
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Noshow
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:59 am

Indeed it is. We have seen a move to point to point in the wide body world with smaller twins instead of big 4-holers and now this is happening in the narrow body world with twins on the way up taking over big boy business. This very well might affect hub airlines and hub airports as now smaller markets and city pairs can be covered profitable right away. Nonstops instead of spoke to hub hub to spoke.
Now add corona to the equation and people avoiding crowds (as in hub airports) wherever they can.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:24 am

KFLLCFII wrote:
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.


It is a big assumption to say that COVID will pass, or that travel patterns will return to normal within the next decade or two. Much of the travelling public, especially the cheap ones, will quickly acclimatize themselves to holidays at home, taking the train and driving. A movement towards "greener" forms of travel was already taking place before Corona hit, which will only get stronger while aviation is grounded. Airlines will have to adapt to the new reality.


KFLLCFII wrote:
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.


You are forgetting one point. Many airlines already have outstanding orders for A32Xneo's. Converting to A321XLR's will be cheap, and for Airbus that is better than a cancelled order.

You are right about capital spending on new planes, but sooner or later, an airline like Lufthansa is going to ask if it is better to continue flying half-empty A330-300s (or worse, having them stand around doing nothing) or full A321s. I'm not convinced that this crisis in aviation is over by 2024. Latest estimates in France now suggest at least 2027, well enough down the line for airlines to justify A321XLR fleets.

Aircraft also degrade when they sit around doing nothing. Humidity and dust enters the systems. There can be corrosion issues. They just don't work as well as they should. You start noticing it in as little as 14 days. A 787 or A330 parked up for 7 years won't just be a simple matter of flipping the switch and cleaning the cabin. Even with proper storage, it will be an unreliable and problematic aircraft that will take months, if not years, to get up to standard again. Not to mention that cabins will be outdated and need to be updated, another costly and time-consuming expense.
 
olle
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:24 am

XLR is the point to point or Point to Hub that the 788 was supposed to be.

This crisis will only speed things up. I see a total different pattern of flight movement in 2030 compared to 2015 between Europe / Asia, Intra Asia, Europe Americas.

It also have a change to attract actors that today do not use many WB. I can see for example Scandinavia with SAS changing how we travel. All discussion of Stockholm, Oslo Copenhagen might chance if 3 XLR flights gives more profit then one A350 flight from copenhagen.

SAS with Copenhagen hub always has a problem that Stockholm and Oslo market is equal supported by LH thru Frankfurt or other hubs.
Last edited by olle on Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
Bostrom
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:37 am

zkojq 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.


TAP is already doing this for their A321neoLRs I believe.


So is SAS.
 
Sokes
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:16 am

I do understand the frequency argument. One stop instead of two stop connections sound great.
But then these passengers are missing towards the hub. Use a smaller plane or reduce frequency towards the hub?

However the E195-E2 has 35 m wing with 61,5 t MTOW, and that's not even a carbon wing.

A transatlantic narrowbody is a good idea, but requires a new wing.
I also doubt engine maintenance will be cheap per seat mile.

Why would Airbus or Boeing offer such a plane?
Bombardier didn't want to be too agressive and made a five abreast plane.
They should have done a six abreast long range plane instead. Who can do it now?

@ RJMAZ:
I like your A220 idea.
How would business class look like, 2+1?

Is the wing meant for long flights with heavy weight? I read somewhere it's very efficient at lower speeds, e. g. 780 km/h.
But I don't know in how far the efficiency is caused by low weight.
Here again:
Hard to imagine that the same wing shall do for short flights as well as TATL.

Price conscious customers customers can take a widebody with cargo.
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frmrCapCadet
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:47 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
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.


NMAs shrunk to match the new lower demand. LOL
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Breathe
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:58 pm

Opus99 wrote:
IMHO. The XLR won’t completely change how we travel but it’s going to sell A LOT and it’s going to make long haul travel much more competitive and unlock new routes between secondary cities. In the U.K. think Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff. Etc. Operating transatlantic out of these airports or other long haul destinations. I think the XLR would be limited with massive carriers who operate out of major hubs. They will still buy the XLR though for their medium-haul. However, I don’t see the XLR as a killer of big jets, it’s just creating a new market. Big jets will still be the backbone of long haul travel, especially if we are saying demand will be back in 23/24 and if you consider things like cargo. Also There are still thousands of routes that operate 350 seater aircrafts at 85% load factor (in normal times) nobody is going to replace that with an XLR. But what an XLR will do is unlock many new connections. For example. QR launched Accra recently (obvious that’s now on hold) but it’s not a nonstop service. It was a DOH-LOS-ACC-LOS-DOH service which is operated by a 787-8. Now it’s obvious Accra doesn’t have the numbers to fill a -8(yet) for QR at least. This would be perfect for 150-180 seater XLR that still has a nice premium cabin and nice economy seats. I think the XLR will be fantastic at unlocking a lot of African routes to Europe and the Middle East to feed connections on said 350 seater jets going to major cities, there’s a lot of connection travel to get out of many cities in Africa and the XLR will change this. Or looking at other cities in the US maybe PHL-EDI etc. That’s what I think. Oh and APAC as well. The XLR is probably going to be most popular in the APAC region

You can definitely see the likelihood of AA using an XLR on their PHL-EDI route. The 787-8 is too big for this route just now, but since they binned their 757 and 767s this is the "smallest" aircraft they have at the moment available to fly this route. Likewise with UA on the EWR-EDI eventually replacing the 757.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:08 pm

Bombardier didn't want to be too agressive and made a five abreast plane.
They should have done a six abreast long range plane instead. Who can do it now?


Completely wrong—even in hindsight a NB long range airliner has a weak business case, not enough demand to support a niche design. The A220 was designed to fit below the 737/A320 market, to not compete with B-A duopoly. Six months, a-netters were all about the A220 being too long ranged.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:47 pm

VSMUT wrote:
It is a big assumption to say that COVID will pass, or that travel patterns will return to normal within the next decade or two. Much of the travelling public, especially the cheap ones, will quickly acclimatize themselves to holidays at home, taking the train and driving. A movement towards "greener" forms of travel was already taking place before Corona hit, which will only get stronger while aviation is grounded. Airlines will have to adapt to the new reality.

No one can say what the new normal will be or when it will occur.

Personally I think if anti-viruses roll out this year and next we should be well into the "new normal" in 2022, dealing with the economic and social changes of the virus more so than the virus itself. Hopefully people calm down on eating bats and we don't encounter some new strain any time soon.

We may find the "sweet spot" in the capacity curve is less than A321/MAX10. It could be A320/MAX8 or A319/MAX7/A220 for all we know. It all depends on how many people want to fly and what they're willing/able to pay to fly. Me, I'm kinda pessimistic and think A321/MAX10 may be too much airplane for the available demand.

One thing we do know is A321XLR won't EIS till 2023 so its actual impact won't be known for quite a while.
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:16 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
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.

Add new sharklets and drastically cut the number of passengers and you're good to go..... :bigthumbsup:

https://youtu.be/uDEWAW408Qw


VSMUT wrote:
Much of the travelling public, especially the cheap ones, will quickly acclimatize themselves to holidays at home, taking the train and driving. A movement towards "greener" forms of travel was already taking place before Corona hit, which will only get stronger while aviation is grounded.

OTOH, those with the means would fly and try to isolate themselves and recuperate in style while traveling..... :cloudnine:

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tphuang
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:16 pm

So I think when we come out of this, there could be 3 aircraft that tackles the long thin medium haul market. There is a220xlr, a321xlr and nma. They get progressively longer ranged as they get larger. The operation cost gets progressively higher as they get larger.

It would seem to me on a stand-alone basis, both a220xlr and nma should bring in higher margins. However, due to a321xlr having fleet commonality with more than half of the airline around the world and also entering the market earlier, it will have quite the advantage over the other 2 aircraft. The reduced budget coming out of this certainly helps a321 over the other 2.

It would seem to me that these smaller aircraft will be more economical to operate than existing widebodies outside of several major trunk markets. Reduced demand in international markets probably means that a350 will be the new 777/747/380, 787 will take over the entire a330neo/787/350 product range. And a321xlr and nma will take over routes currently operated by 757 767 and even 787-8 and a332.

I think a220xlr will do really well once it gets developed. It would probably need to have 1-1 j seating. The total operating cost would probably be at 2/3 to 3/4 of a321xlr.
 
Raptormodeller
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:25 pm

Forgive me for being ignorant, but does the XLR have a new wing?
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StTim
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:42 pm

Raptormodeller wrote:
Forgive me for being ignorant, but does the XLR have a new wing?


Same wing but will have some tweaks such as single slotted flaps.
 
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PW100
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:59 pm

chiad wrote:
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?


I'd suspect that an important factor to step on this now is that the production line(s) will have some breathing air for quite some time to come.

One of the big hurdles Airbus had in bringing (important) changes to the 320/321 series is due to the previous high production volumes; i.e. changes made to the design also means changes have to be made to the production system. They had found it hard to make changes to the production system while increasing production rates.

Now that the rate is/has been reduced form 60+ to 40 p/m, this brings the opportunity to make deep changes within the production system, without risking introducing critical bottle necks in the system as it has 50% overcapacity at rate 40.
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WayexTDI
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:35 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
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.

Well, the current trend to park widebodies, focus on smaller planes (like DL has done with retiring the 777 fleet), the current A321XLR order book and the point-to-point preference actually would indicate longer-range narrowbodies have a place in the market.

An A321XLR will never replace a 787/A350/777 fleet; but it's positioned between those and the A320/737 fleet.
Customers ordering the A321XLR have told Airbus that this is the plane they needed, and sent a strong signal to Boeing with the NMA debacle: you got to do something.
 
tomcat
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:21 pm

lightsaber wrote:
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.

Lightsaber


Pre-covid, there was a structural oversupply of belly capacity because the offer of belly capacity was simply driven by the demand of passenger travel and the resulting offer of wide-bodies flights. The XLR will be an extraordinary tool to balance the cargo capacity supply and demand and fine tune the overall supply of seats and cargo capacity on flights up to 9 hours. Cargo yields will improve thanks to this evolution while the overall costs of the airlines will go down. Hubs bypass will hurt the hub operators until they adjust their capacity to the new reality.
Last edited by tomcat on Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
fcogafa
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:27 pm

Conversely a trend for fewer flights might mean combining smaller flights into larger aircraft and an increase to hub and spoke. You cant know which way it is going at the moment, especially the situation in 3 years time.
 
tomcat
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:45 pm

Another interesting feature of the XLR is that it is based on a family that has been initially designed to operate 48000 flight cycles and this has been extended to 60000 FC under the ESG I program. These design service goals have not only driven the airframe design but also the reliability requirements for its systems and equipments. This bodes well for the reliability of the XLR which is meant to operate very few flights (ballpark 1000 to 1500 cycles per year) compared to the other members of the family.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:08 pm

DaCubbyBearBar wrote:
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.


I know AA, F9, B6 & UA have already ordered it.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:13 pm

Revelation wrote:
We may find the "sweet spot" in the capacity curve is less than A321/MAX10. It could be A320/MAX8 or A319/MAX7/A220 for all we know. It all depends on how many people want to fly and what they're willing/able to pay to fly. Me, I'm kinda pessimistic and think A321/MAX10 may be too much airplane for the available demand.


I may be inclined to agree with you, but until something smaller exists, that is a mute point. Boeing clearly isn't in a position to offer something, they don't even have a flyable product until some time in 2021 at the earliest. Airbus doesn't have the incentive to start investing in further variants as long as they hold a monopoly.
 
brilondon
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:02 pm

TYWoolman 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.


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! (?)

When was the last A310 produced?
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NWAROOSTER
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:07 pm

brilondon wrote:
TYWoolman 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.


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! (?)

When was the last A310 produced?

There are not going to be mergers in the United States except by LCC carriers that need to do so to survive. There may be be more "mergers" in the rest of the world as not as many countries can support it's flag carrier any more.
The last A310 was produced in March 19, 1998 and is now back with Airbus in Toulouse and in storage. :old:
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
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A300neo
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:32 pm

lightsaber wrote:
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.

Don't forget to mention Indigo of India. They have a pure A32x fleet and ordered 730(!) A32x Neos so far, including the XLR:

https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-r ... craft.html

I guess with such a fleet size, they will benefit the most.
 
VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:18 pm

What's the EIS target for A321XLR?
 
T4thH
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:33 pm

VV wrote:
What's the EIS target for A321XLR?


First flight 2022, EIS is scheduled for 2023. And the A321 xlr has now highest priority at Airbus, the number of engineers has been increased, to take care, the A321 xlr development stays in the scheduled timeline.
https://www.aero.de/news-36584/Airbus-macht-beim-A321XLR-Tempo.html
Source is in German, use a translator.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:14 am

Sokes wrote:
@ RJMAZ:
I like your A220 idea.
How would business class look like, 2+1?

Is the wing meant for long flights with heavy weight? I read somewhere it's very efficient at lower speeds, e. g. 780 km/h.

Business class seats on long haul aircraft are much larger than on short haul flights. Seating density rapidly reduces once flights exceed 8 hours. The traditional narrowbody flights use large recliners for business class as they rarely fly over 6 hours.

The A220XLR could see widebody beds fitted as flights exceed 8 hours. Seating would be entirely airline specific. 2+1 business class lie flat beds sounds good. 2+2 premium recliners and 2+3 economy seats would create a good 3 class cabin. It has similar cruise speed to the A321 but the A220 can fly higher much earlier making it more optimised for long flights

One thing worth noting is the vast difference in seating density on long haul widebody aircraft.. Qantas for instance has 236 seats in their 787-9 with a cabin area of 265m2. The A220-100 has only 78m2 cabin area so with similar density that is only 70 seats. The A321XLR would seat only 110 passengers

Back on topic of the A321XLR it has reached the critical point where it can perform long haul flights and now have lower density seating. This low density seating increases range even further and provides even greater demand for lower density seating. It is now in the loop where seating density reduces and range increases. The XLR with 110 passengers and the optional ACT where is available would have a range of 5200nm. This would allow the following routes that are around 4700nm still air. 10% buffer is used to take into account for winds. Here is a good list:

Tokyo to Los Angeles.
London to Los Angeles.
Melbourne to Hawaii.
Auckland to Tokyo.
Sydney to Beijing.
Berlin to Hong kong.

In terms of hubs:
Dubai covers all of Europe and Asia.
Anchorage covers all of Europe, North America and East Asia.

On all of these routes the A321XLR would have better fuel burn per seat than the 787-8. This is even when the A321XLR is fitted with the same low density seating. The A321XLR does not need to sacrifice comfort to beat the 787-8.

The 787-8 is still a good choice if the route is over 4700nm still air or the cargo demand is high.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:54 am

RJMAZ wrote:
Sokes wrote:
@ RJMAZ:
I like your A220 idea.
How would business class look like, 2+1?

Is the wing meant for long flights with heavy weight? I read somewhere it's very efficient at lower speeds, e. g. 780 km/h.

Business class seats on long haul aircraft are much larger than on short haul flights. Seating density rapidly reduces once flights exceed 8 hours. The traditional narrowbody flights use large recliners for business class as they rarely fly over 6 hours.

The A220XLR could see widebody beds fitted as flights exceed 8 hours. Seating would be entirely airline specific. 2+1 business class lie flat beds sounds good. 2+2 premium recliners and 2+3 economy seats would create a good 3 class cabin. It has similar cruise speed to the A321 but the A220 can fly higher much earlier making it more optimised for long flights

One thing worth noting is the vast difference in seating density on long haul widebody aircraft.. Qantas for instance has 236 seats in their 787-9 with a cabin area of 265m2. The A220-100 has only 78m2 cabin area so with similar density that is only 70 seats. The A321XLR would seat only 110 passengers

Back on topic of the A321XLR it has reached the critical point where it can perform long haul flights and now have lower density seating. This low density seating increases range even further and provides even greater demand for lower density seating. It is now in the loop where seating density reduces and range increases. The XLR with 110 passengers and the optional ACT where is available would have a range of 5200nm. This would allow the following routes that are around 4700nm still air. 10% buffer is used to take into account for winds. Here is a good list:

Tokyo to Los Angeles.
London to Los Angeles.
Melbourne to Hawaii.
Auckland to Tokyo.
Sydney to Beijing.
Berlin to Hong kong.

In terms of hubs:
Dubai covers all of Europe and Asia.
Anchorage covers all of Europe, North America and East Asia.

On all of these routes the A321XLR would have better fuel burn per seat than the 787-8. This is even when the A321XLR is fitted with the same low density seating. The A321XLR does not need to sacrifice comfort to beat the 787-8.

The 787-8 is still a good choice if the route is over 4700nm still air or the cargo demand is high.


My understanding is with ETOPS you need 15% with added spare fuel needs So I would expect 4420nm. BTW HND-LAX is 4768nm so even at your 10% it would be just under ETOPS range.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:50 am

rbavfan wrote:
My understanding is with ETOPS you need 15% with added spare fuel needs So I would expect 4420nm. BTW HND-LAX is 4768nm so even at your 10% it would be just under ETOPS range.

That is incorrect.

The brochure range of 4700nm for the A321XLR already includes reserve fuel, divert fuel and emergency fuel. The ETOPS requirement is not 15% additional on top of the existing reserve fuel.

Percentage wise on a medium haul flight the normal reserves can get close to 10%. The ETOPS flight then only needs 5% additional fuel to meet the requirement.

That is why i removed 10% off the brochure range standard, 5% would cover ETOPS regulation and 5% would cover any headwinds on some flights.

Again these flights where the airports have a great circle distance of 4700nm can only be done by the A321XLR with 110 passengers and the optional ACT fully filled. A standard A321XLR with 150+ seats could never do such routes.
 
Sokes
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:48 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Bombardier didn't want to be too agressive and made a five abreast plane.
They should have done a six abreast long range plane instead. Who can do it now?


Completely wrong—even in hindsight a NB long range airliner has a weak business case, not enough demand to support a niche design.

We do not know how much transatlantic traffic a B757 with 45 m wing would have captured.

What hindsight do you refer to?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:52 am

T4thH wrote:
VV wrote:
What's the EIS target for A321XLR?


First flight 2022, EIS is scheduled for 2023. And the A321 xlr has now highest priority at Airbus, the number of engineers has been increased, to take care, the A321 xlr development stays in the scheduled timeline.
https://www.aero.de/news-36584/Airbus-macht-beim-A321XLR-Tempo.html
Source is in German, use a translator.


Any idea of the development cost?
 
Sokes
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:02 am

tomcat wrote:
The XLR will be an extraordinary tool to balance the cargo capacity supply and demand and fine tune the overall supply of seats and cargo capacity on flights up to 9 hours. Cargo yields will improve thanks to this evolution while the overall costs of the airlines will go down.

That makes sense.
Sounds like very cheap tickets may not be offered in future.

But then even if we consider reserve fuels:
Which plane is used close to it's theoretical range?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
rbavfan
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:08 am

VSMUT wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
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.


It is a big assumption to say that COVID will pass, or that travel patterns will return to normal within the next decade or two. Much of the travelling public, especially the cheap ones, will quickly acclimatize themselves to holidays at home, taking the train and driving. A movement towards "greener" forms of travel was already taking place before Corona hit, which will only get stronger while aviation is grounded. Airlines will have to adapt to the new reality.


KFLLCFII wrote:
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.


You are forgetting one point. Many airlines already have outstanding orders for A32Xneo's. Converting to A321XLR's will be cheap, and for Airbus that is better than a cancelled order.

You are right about capital spending on new planes, but sooner or later, an airline like Lufthansa is going to ask if it is better to continue flying half-empty A330-300s (or worse, having them stand around doing nothing) or full A321s. I'm not convinced that this crisis in aviation is over by 2024. Latest estimates in France now suggest at least 2027, well enough down the line for airlines to justify A321XLR fleets.

Aircraft also degrade when they sit around doing nothing. Humidity and dust enters the systems. There can be corrosion issues. They just don't work as well as they should. You start noticing it in as little as 14 days. A 787 or A330 parked up for 7 years won't just be a simple matter of flipping the switch and cleaning the cabin. Even with proper storage, it will be an unreliable and problematic aircraft that will take months, if not years, to get up to standard again. Not to mention that cabins will be outdated and need to be updated, another costly and time-consuming expense.


If they are afraid to take a plane. They won't take a Train that does not have a ventilation system as complex and filtered as well as an airplanes. More chance getting covid geting to the airplane. More chance on getting if for a day long trip on a poorly ventilated train.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:11 am

RJMAZ wrote:
rbavfan wrote:
My understanding is with ETOPS you need 15% with added spare fuel needs So I would expect 4420nm. BTW HND-LAX is 4768nm so even at your 10% it would be just under ETOPS range.

That is incorrect.

The brochure range of 4700nm for the A321XLR already includes reserve fuel, divert fuel and emergency fuel. The ETOPS requirement is not 15% additional on top of the existing reserve fuel.

Percentage wise on a medium haul flight the normal reserves can get close to 10%. The ETOPS flight then only needs 5% additional fuel to meet the requirement.

That is why i removed 10% off the brochure range standard, 5% would cover ETOPS regulation and 5% would cover any headwinds on some flights.

Again these flights where the airports have a great circle distance of 4700nm can only be done by the A321XLR with 110 passengers and the optional ACT fully filled. A standard A321XLR with 150+ seats could never do such routes.


Do your figures include winter headwinds or summer headwinds. Big difference in headwinds & fuel burn. Just ask United.
 
VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:32 am

StTim wrote:
Raptormodeller wrote:
Forgive me for being ignorant, but does the XLR have a new wing?


Same wing but will have some tweaks such as single slotted flaps.


This is interesting!.
The normal A321 has indeed double slotted flaps.

I guess Airbus engineers have now removed the risk of instationary flow separation that could happen to single slotted flaps at high deployment angle.
That's a very good news because flow separation can cause some vibration issues.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:33 am

rbavfan wrote:
If they are afraid to take a plane. They won't take a Train that does not have a ventilation system as complex and filtered as well as an airplanes. More chance getting covid geting to the airplane. More chance on getting if for a day long trip on a poorly ventilated train.


Trains have way less dense seating. The AC system doesn't recirculate like in a plane, it can just draw in fresh air constantly. But I don't see fear of getting infected being part of it, people who are willing to travel aren't afraid of that aspect (most people take the train to the airport, so if they are afraid of taking trains, they won't get to the airport either). It will be fear of cancelled flights, fear of quarantine, lack of flights and general inconvenience of air travel in this day and age. Many airlines have behaved atrociously during the shutdown, refusing the reimburse cancelled flights. That alone will put many off from flying.

I was forced to take the train during the shutdown. There just weren't any flights going to where I had to go. Even when there was, I had to spend a night in a hotel somewhere, usually at a hub airport. The train got me there faster than planes did. The trains were almost always packed with travelers.

Rail won't replace flying. Some travelers will return once flights are reinstated, but a fair share of the market is gone for good. Once people get accustomed to going in holiday by train, bus or car, they will stop considering longer holidays completely.


RJMAZ wrote:
The A220XLR could see widebody beds fitted as flights exceed 8 hours. Seating would be entirely airline specific. 2+1 business class lie flat beds sounds good. 2+2 premium recliners and 2+3 economy seats would create a good 3 class cabin. It has similar cruise speed to the A321 but the A220 can fly higher much earlier making it more optimised for long flightsh.


2+2 lie-flat shouldn't be a problem for an A220. It would be a narrow lie-flat, but not worse than some airlines put in their widebodies. Alternatively a sort of reverse herringbone configuration should work too. But knowing how European carriers work, they will probably just peddle a slimline economy seat that can't recline with a blocked middle-seat.
 
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enzo011
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:40 am

RJMAZ wrote:
Business class seats on long haul aircraft are much larger than on short haul flights. Seating density rapidly reduces once flights exceed 8 hours. The traditional narrowbody flights use large recliners for business class as they rarely fly over 6 hours.

The A220XLR could see widebody beds fitted as flights exceed 8 hours. Seating would be entirely airline specific. 2+1 business class lie flat beds sounds good. 2+2 premium recliners and 2+3 economy seats would create a good 3 class cabin. It has similar cruise speed to the A321 but the A220 can fly higher much earlier making it more optimised for long flights

One thing worth noting is the vast difference in seating density on long haul widebody aircraft.. Qantas for instance has 236 seats in their 787-9 with a cabin area of 265m2. The A220-100 has only 78m2 cabin area so with similar density that is only 70 seats. The A321XLR would seat only 110 passengers



But why would a flight of around 8 hours have the same seating density as a flight of 17 hours which you seem to be comparing? Wouldn't it be better to compare the seating densities of a Etihad 789 rather than the Qantas 789, because your flights will not be super long and those seats should be sufficient for passengers? I understand that density reduces for Qantas, but they are the one of only a few that does that and only because the flight is 17 hours long. Etihad uses the same 789 on routes from less than 8 hours to 14 hours.
 
StTim
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:50 am

VV wrote:
StTim wrote:
Raptormodeller wrote:
Forgive me for being ignorant, but does the XLR have a new wing?


Same wing but will have some tweaks such as single slotted flaps.


This is interesting!.
The normal A321 has indeed double slotted flaps.

I guess Airbus engineers have now removed the risk of instationary flow separation that could happen to single slotted flaps at high deployment angle.
That's a very good news because flow separation can cause some vibration issues.


Apparently the sharklets reduced landing speeds allowing Airbus to switch to a single slot design, This will save weight, maintenance cost and allow more options on the degree of flap used. Seems like a win win scenario for the XLR and I suspect it will be rolled back to the standard A321's at some point after certification on the XLR.
 
VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:14 am

StTim wrote:
VV wrote:
...

I guess Airbus engineers have now removed the risk of instationary flow separation that could happen to single slotted flaps at high deployment angle.
That's a very good news because flow separation can cause some vibration issues.


Apparently the sharklets reduced landing speeds allowing Airbus to switch to a single slot design, This will save weight, maintenance cost and allow more options on the degree of flap used. Seems like a win win scenario for the XLR and I suspect it will be rolled back to the standard A321's at some point after certification on the XLR.


It is a very good thing, even though they will have to validate it during flight test.
I hope there will be no surprise during flight tests.

Based on my experience, this flow separation is vicious and fairly unpredictable. Obviously there are always solutions, but it takes time to develop.
 
airbuster
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:20 pm

So is there a change in the business case published by Airbus to support the ramp up of development. I mean I guess they think the market won’t need as much WB the coming years and that’s why but do they have detailed information as to the move?
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:26 pm

Sokes wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Bombardier didn't want to be too agressive and made a five abreast plane.
They should have done a six abreast long range plane instead. Who can do it now?


Completely wrong—even in hindsight a NB long range airliner has a weak business case, not enough demand to support a niche design.

We do not know how much transatlantic traffic a B757 with 45 m wing would have captured.

What hindsight do you refer to?


The 757 ran out of sales, so no operator then saw the need for it and Boeing stopped production.

The BBD product wasn’t designed for overflights and specifically designed to NOT compete with the duopoly. In hindsight, it would more likely gone nowhere as a A320/737 competitor
 
ITSTours
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:55 pm

The decision to shelve A350-1100 or 2000 or whatever was clever. Of course who did so would not have known COVID but anyway.

A321XR will dominate the mid-longhaul market for sure. I am now more interested in the PaxEx perspective now. Will the economy class be actually horrible as people say. How will the fully flat direct aisle access be provided.
 
bigred10k
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:58 pm

lightsaber wrote:
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.



Only time will tell us if this will actually happen. Going through a hub is the least of my worries when travelling during/post COVID-19. Getting on a narrow-body flight for a 8 hour trip had no appeal to me pre-COVID-19, and even less so now.

Personally I try to avoid 3x3 configurations if I will be flying in economy. For long-haul business class, I would likewise much rather have a 1x2x1 configuration than a 2x2 configuration. For economy, the old 2x5x2 configurations were also preferable to 3x3x3. All else being equal, I would much rather have the spaciousness of a wide-body cabin than a narrow-body. And that means I will continue to get on a short flight to a hub to get on a bigger plane rather than taking a non-stop on a smaller one. Of course, if they were to install the 1x1 first class config used in the transcon service from JFK-LAX that would change my mind, but I doubt that would happen.
 
ehaase
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:55 pm

if Delta were to order the 321XLR, what European routes would be practical out of Atlanta and JFK? I suspect the 330-900 is too large for some routes now using the 767-300, but perhaps the 321XLR could replace the 767 on some routes, especially if demand is low for an extended period of time.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:25 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
Back on topic of the A321XLR it has reached the critical point where it can perform long haul flights and now have lower density seating. This low density seating increases range even further and provides even greater demand for lower density seating. It is now in the loop where seating density reduces and range increases.

I think we should be more accurate than this. A321XLR has reached orderability. It is now under design. The things you speak of will only be in play around 2023. We'll know a lot more about what routes the XLR will be used on once we get close to its EIS three or so years from now.
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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Noshow
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:28 pm

Parts manufacturing has begun.

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