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Devilfish
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:45 pm

Starting with this important one.....

https://www.flightglobal.com/production ... 26.article
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T4thH
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:02 pm

ehaase wrote:
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.


US airlines have till now ordered the A321 Xlr as 1 to 1 replacement for their B757-200. Just check the routes, the B757-200 of Delta will fly, then you know it.
 
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Antaras
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:58 pm

Should Airbus design a new winglet for the XLR?
I know that the current Sharklets are still ok, but are the A350's winglets better than the Sharklets on the narrowbodies?
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United857
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:09 pm

Antaras wrote:
Should Airbus design a new winglet for the XLR?
I know that the current Sharklets are still ok, but are the A350's winglets better than the Sharklets on the narrowbodies?

In terms of outright aerodynamic efficiency (and thus fuel burn), probably. The problem is that they also add more span than the current A320 sharklets, which is already up against the 118 ft wingspan limit for Code C, the standard size for all narrowbody gates. Doing so could potentially cause gate availability issues at major hubs where airlines are probably expecting the A321XLR to be able to use standard narrowbody gates and not require a 757/767-size Code D gate to be available.
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arcticcruiser
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:25 pm

United857 wrote:
Antaras wrote:
Should Airbus design a new winglet for the XLR?
I know that the current Sharklets are still ok, but are the A350's winglets better than the Sharklets on the narrowbodies?

In terms of outright aerodynamic efficiency (and thus fuel burn), probably. The problem is that they also add more span than the current A320 sharklets, which is already up against the 118 ft wingspan limit for Code C, the standard size for all narrowbody gates. Doing so could potentially cause gate availability issues at major hubs where airlines are probably expecting the A321XLR to be able to use standard narrowbody gates and not require a 757/767-size Code D gate to be available.


And therein lies the XLR´s Achilles heel. It is. 103 metric tonne airplane with a wing designed for a 78 tonne airplane. Climb perfomance and initial altitude capability suffer. A better wing could bring much more efficiency, but at a price.
 
Aither
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:13 am

No crew rest will also limit the max range the XLR can fly.

So a game changer only for a narrow band of flying distances. Unless we see more multiple stops
Never trust the obvious
 
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A300neo
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:37 am

arcticcruiser wrote:
And therein lies the XLR´s Achilles heel. It is. 103 metric tonne airplane with a wing designed for a 78 tonne airplane.

Not exactly, the winglets were added, and increased climb etc. a bit. That little but still notable gain could be harvested now.

Climb perfomance and initial altitude capability suffer. A better wing could bring much more efficiency, but at a price.

Yes and that price was 2-3 billion Euros according to Airbus. Too much for a few 100 planes.

Giving that heavy price tag, I assume that the holy grail of MoM's wing design would be a wing according to Code D that would fit both the A32x airframe as well as the A33x one. Then the hefty investment could be amortised by selling 2 different products. There would be an A322 (in the size of the 757-300) and an A300-600neo.

However, that is easier said than done.
 
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:35 am

A300neo wrote:
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.

Indigo could change quite a bit with the A321xLR. I won't be surprised if they buy 50+ xLR.

Lightsaber
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Airlinerdude
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:23 am

Aither wrote:
No crew rest will also limit the max range the XLR can fly.

So a game changer only for a narrow band of flying distances. Unless we see more multiple stops


It shouldn't be too much of an issue if the airplane is outfitted with lie-flat J seats. Most airlines have a policy to use a J seat as a crew rest for flights up to about 12 hours with three flight deck crew.

On a separate note, I am somewhat surprised by the decision to expedite development of the A321XLR. I don't doubt that this airplane will be highly successful, but I would have thought that economics in the short term would favour flying wide-bodies (on routes comparable with the mission profile of a A321XLR) once a recovery begins. Assuming a recovery sometime between 2023 and 2024, I could see this plane really hitting its stride in 2025. But to push development for an EIS before then seems premature to me.

From a capital management perspective, why would an airline outlay scarce capital reserves to purchase/lease a new A321XLR when they already have paid for/lease commitments for their existing wide-bodies? Curious to hear everyone's insight.
 
744SPX
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:06 am

arcticcruiser wrote:
United857 wrote:
Antaras wrote:
Should Airbus design a new winglet for the XLR?
I know that the current Sharklets are still ok, but are the A350's winglets better than the Sharklets on the narrowbodies?

In terms of outright aerodynamic efficiency (and thus fuel burn), probably. The problem is that they also add more span than the current A320 sharklets, which is already up against the 118 ft wingspan limit for Code C, the standard size for all narrowbody gates. Doing so could potentially cause gate availability issues at major hubs where airlines are probably expecting the A321XLR to be able to use standard narrowbody gates and not require a 757/767-size Code D gate to be available.


And therein lies the XLR´s Achilles heel. It is. 103 metric tonne airplane with a wing designed for a 78 tonne airplane. Climb perfomance and initial altitude capability suffer. A better wing could bring much more efficiency, but at a price.



Add wing root extensions. A relatively quick and low cost solution compared to a new wing.
 
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AECM
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:49 am

In the XLR Airbus is changing from a double-slotted to single-slotted inboard flap design due to the combination of the new engines and sharklets.

https://www.flightglobal.com/analysis-how-airbus-is-redesigning-the-a321xlr-high-lift-system/133241.article
 
astuteman
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:01 am

arcticcruiser wrote:
And therein lies the XLR´s Achilles heel. It is. 103 metric tonne airplane with a wing designed for a 78 tonne airplane. Climb perfomance and initial altitude capability suffer. A better wing could bring much more efficiency, but at a price.


I don't think "Achilles Heel" is an appropriate description for a wing that
a) is common with the fastest selling airliner model of all time, and
b) enables the A321XLR to do what it does (including out-do the 757) and still fit comfortably in a code C gate.

Do you think the A321XLR would be more successful, and more profitable for Airbus if it had a bespoke 43m wing?
I doubt it somehow.
Those strengths almost certainly outweigh the limitations

As a nit-pick, the MTOW of the A321XLR is 101 tonnes, not 103 tonnes

Rgds
 
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Devilfish
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:20 pm

And now Airbus is putting a passive moisture control system in the XLR instead.....

https://www.flightglobal.com/air-transp ... 89.article
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:20 pm

Devilfish wrote:
And now Airbus is putting a passive moisture control system in the XLR instead.....

https://www.flightglobal.com/air-transp ... 89.article


"moisture" does not sound very nice.
"humidity" sounds better.
 
airbazar
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:43 pm

VV wrote:
Devilfish wrote:
And now Airbus is putting a passive moisture control system in the XLR instead.....

https://www.flightglobal.com/air-transp ... 89.article


"moisture" does not sound very nice.
"humidity" sounds better.


Moisture and humidity are two different things. Moisture measures amount of water while humidity measures amount of vapor.
 
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Devilfish
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:30 pm

Flightglobal's choice....."Airbus ditches active moisture-control on A321XLR". But I defer to the native English speakers. :)
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VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:31 pm

airbazar wrote:
VV wrote:
Devilfish wrote:
And now Airbus is putting a passive moisture control system in the XLR instead.....

https://www.flightglobal.com/air-transp ... 89.article


"moisture" does not sound very nice.
"humidity" sounds better.


Moisture and humidity are two different things. Moisture measures amount of water while humidity measures amount of vapor.


Vapor of alcohol? LOL.
 
VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:54 pm

Devilfish wrote:
Flightglobal's choice....."Airbus ditches active moisture-control on A321XLR". But I defer to the native English speakers. :)



Just pronounce the words.

"Moist" does not sound nice.
"Humid" sounds better.

Perhaps it is only me.
 
brilondon
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:59 pm

rbavfan wrote:
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.


Trains have more space than airplanes for economy passengers by far. Wider seats and more leg room. Better meal choices. Just takes longer and generally doesn't run as often.
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DLHAM
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:21 pm

ehaase wrote:
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.


From JFK:

Stockholm
Oslo
Hamburg
Stuttgart
Lyon
Birmingham
Newcastle
Belfast

All those also possible for United as well.

From Atlanta I think only a number of destinations in the furthest West/northwest of Europe would be possible with the XLR with a decent load and yearround.
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:08 am

Airlinerdude wrote:
Aither wrote:
No crew rest will also limit the max range the XLR can fly.

So a game changer only for a narrow band of flying distances. Unless we see more multiple stops


It shouldn't be too much of an issue if the airplane is outfitted with lie-flat J seats. Most airlines have a policy to use a J seat as a crew rest for flights up to about 12 hours with three flight deck crew.

On a separate note, I am somewhat surprised by the decision to expedite development of the A321XLR. I don't doubt that this airplane will be highly successful, but I would have thought that economics in the short term would favour flying wide-bodies (on routes comparable with the mission profile of a A321XLR) once a recovery begins. Assuming a recovery sometime between 2023 and 2024, I could see this plane really hitting its stride in 2025. But to push development for an EIS before then seems premature to me.

From a capital management perspective, why would an airline outlay scarce capital reserves to purchase/lease a new A321XLR when they already have paid for/lease commitments for their existing wide-bodies? Curious to hear everyone's insight.


The idea is that an A321XLR will make some routes possible that previously could not be done because a wide-body is too much plane. This could be a real fragmenter. A route like JFK to almost any South American major city could be doable on a narrow-body if the plane doesn't carry much belly cargo (JFK to SCL is 4440 nmi, JFK to GRU is 4130 nmi and 4095 nmi to VCP). The lone exception would be EZE, although B6 could do that from FLL.

Within Asia and Australasia, it could be a game-changer for an airline like AirAsia or IndiGo. IndiGo could serve any European destination without penalty, and AirAsia, which is not really a cargo-heavy airline, could use that over the A330 on virtually its entire network. Also, in Russia, an airline like S7 could theoretically serve any airport in Russia capable of handling mainline aircraft from DME, bypassing OVB from eastern Siberia, and possibly (with maybe a slight westbound restriction) as far as NRT, allowing S7 to try to dispose of its 737 fleet.

Since cargo can't talk back, wide-bodies would basically be only on cargo-heavy routes, routes beyond the range of the A321XLR, or premium-heavy routes. The A321XLR's success could really crimp the A339 though.

DLHAM wrote:
ehaase wrote:
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.


From JFK:

Stockholm
Oslo
Hamburg
Stuttgart
Lyon
Birmingham
Newcastle
Belfast

All those also possible for United as well.

From Atlanta I think only a number of destinations in the furthest West/northwest of Europe would be possible with the XLR with a decent load and yearround.


Also Prague, Berlin Brandenburg, Pisa, Malaga, Palermo (new) and maybe Dubrovnik (new) as well. All would be seasonal.
 
ScottB
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:33 am

Opus99 wrote:
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.


Hundreds, yes. Thousands, probably not -- unless the XLR is meaningfully more efficient than the baseline A321neo or Airbus chooses to make the XLR the production standard. Airline customers would order the XLR for mission profiles on which the A321neo would have insufficient range/payload. If you can operate a route with a less costly non-XLR A321, you just do that and have an XLR subfleet for the routes that need the capability. B6 doesn't need the XLR for BOS-LHR but they might for something like BOS-MUC.
 
Airlinerdude
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:17 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
The idea is that an A321XLR will make some routes possible that previously could not be done because a wide-body is too much plane.


So much of what we're discussing depends on the recovery curve in the coming years. I share consensus with the part of your post I've left out, but again, I'm suspect that an airline will pour cash into acquiring more aircraft when they already have a liability for the payment of wide-bodies in their fleet.

I see a world post covid where there is a large dump of wide-body capacity that trashes yields. For that reason, I'm not sure whether niche routes will still demand the premium to afford operating an A321XLR like you talked about. Once a sustained recovery occurs, perhaps by 2025+, I could certainly see the A321XLR being a fantastic aircraft. My concern is that 'pouring resources' into development in an environment where cash is king, may be a waste in the short-term.
 
Noshow
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:20 am

I agree that the A321XLR has VERY good market perspectives.
But how much does a A321XLR have it's lower deck cargo volume blocked by tanks and piping? Could it be used for "everyday services" in between like any other A321neo when not used on long range routes? What would be the penalty to do it? So it's heavier and more expensive to buy or lease. Wouldn't it be more expensive to operate? Would it make sense to use some long range cabin configuration on shorter distances?
 
astuteman
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:39 am

ScottB wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
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.


Hundreds, yes. Thousands, probably not -- unless the XLR is meaningfully more efficient than the baseline A321neo or Airbus chooses to make the XLR the production standard. Airline customers would order the XLR for mission profiles on which the A321neo would have insufficient range/payload. If you can operate a route with a less costly non-XLR A321, you just do that and have an XLR subfleet for the routes that need the capability. B6 doesn't need the XLR for BOS-LHR but they might for something like BOS-MUC.


The A321XLR had already racked up 500 orders by the end of 2019, some 3 1/2 years prior to EIS.
You have to have a downer on the plane to believe it won't sell in the thousands.. :yes:

Rgds
 
astuteman
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:45 am

Noshow wrote:
I agree that the A321XLR has VERY good market perspectives.
But how much does a A321XLR have it's lower deck cargo volume blocked by tanks and piping? Could it be used for "everyday services" in between like any other A321neo when not used on long range routes? What would be the penalty to do it? So it's heavier and more expensive to buy or lease. Wouldn't it be more expensive to operate? Would it make sense to use some long range cabin configuration on shorter distances?


It will weigh the same empty as an A321NEO with 1 x ACT (give or take a 100kg or so)
The lower deck cargo is impacted as if it were carrying 2 x ACT (which some A321's do)
It will almost certainly command a price premium.
It will also have slightly higher navigation fees as a consequence of its higher MTOW

The trade off I guess is that you get the versatility of 4 700Nm range for a very small cost penalty over a cooking A321NEO at shorter ranges.
And that versatility comes complete with commonality with said cooking A321NEO.
They will be virtually interchangeable on the bulk of shorter routes, which has to be huge for fleet planning

Rgds
 
VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:52 am

Noshow wrote:
I agree that the A321XLR has VERY good market perspectives.
But how much does a A321XLR have it's lower deck cargo volume blocked by tanks and piping? Could it be used for "everyday services" in between like any other A321neo when not used on long range routes? What would be the penalty to do it? So it's heavier and more expensive to buy or lease. Wouldn't it be more expensive to operate? Would it make sense to use some long range cabin configuration on shorter distances?


If you really need the range capability then it is not more expensive than a normal A321neo on per seat basis.
If you want to fly those distance with a normal A321neo you will get a severe payload impact thus the cost on per seeat basis increases significantly.

This said, do not expect to operate a 4,700 nm (equivalent still air distance) with 220 passengers even with an A321XLR.

If your network does not have any long route that needs A321XLR capability, it would be stupid to order A321XLR, because, as you rightly said, it would be more expensive to buy and to operate.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:53 am

Airlinerdude wrote:
Aither wrote:
No crew rest will also limit the max range the XLR can fly.

So a game changer only for a narrow band of flying distances. Unless we see more multiple stops


It shouldn't be too much of an issue if the airplane is outfitted with lie-flat J seats. Most airlines have a policy to use a J seat as a crew rest for flights up to about 12 hours with three flight deck crew..


Also, for an EU airline, and i presume many other jurisdictions, a Pilot can be on duty for between 11 and 13 hours depending on departure time, which should cover most XLR flying.

astuteman wrote:
arcticcruiser wrote:
And therein lies the XLR´s Achilles heel. It is. 103 metric tonne airplane with a wing designed for a 78 tonne airplane. Climb perfomance and initial altitude capability suffer. A better wing could bring much more efficiency, but at a price.


I don't think "Achilles Heel" is an appropriate description for a wing that
a) is common with the fastest selling airliner model of all time, and
b) enables the A321XLR to do what it does (including out-do the 757) and still fit comfortably in a code C gate.

Do you think the A321XLR would be more successful, and more profitable for Airbus if it had a bespoke 43m wing?
I doubt it somehow.
Those strengths almost certainly outweigh the limitations

As a nit-pick, the MTOW of the A321XLR is 101 tonnes, not 103 tonnes

Rgds


the small wing certainly didn´t hurt 77W sales, and that plane essentially doesn´t make it of the ground at MTOW above sea level or on a fairly hot day.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
Noshow
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:04 am

Adding a different high lift system might very much indicate that they build some "new" wing. Maybe the size is similar but the inside structure might need to change a bit. Who knows how far their growth plans go in the future? How much more powerful could GTFs become? I'd go back from that max power to possible MTOWs and what the wing would need to lift on some A321XXXLR.
 
tomcat
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:48 am

astuteman wrote:
Noshow wrote:
I agree that the A321XLR has VERY good market perspectives.
But how much does a A321XLR have it's lower deck cargo volume blocked by tanks and piping? Could it be used for "everyday services" in between like any other A321neo when not used on long range routes? What would be the penalty to do it? So it's heavier and more expensive to buy or lease. Wouldn't it be more expensive to operate? Would it make sense to use some long range cabin configuration on shorter distances?


It will weigh the same empty as an A321NEO with 1 x ACT (give or take a 100kg or so)
The lower deck cargo is impacted as if it were carrying 2 x ACT (which some A321's do)
It will almost certainly command a price premium.
It will also have slightly higher navigation fees as a consequence of its higher MTOW

The trade off I guess is that you get the versatility of 4 700Nm range for a very small cost penalty over a cooking A321NEO at shorter ranges.
And that versatility comes complete with commonality with said cooking A321NEO.
They will be virtually interchangeable on the bulk of shorter routes, which has to be huge for fleet planning

Rgds


About the interchangeability on shorter routes, it will be feasible within the practical limits set by different cabin configurations. At the legacy airlines, I expect that the XLR fleets will be fitted with low density cabins including more galley space to accommodate meal services expected on 8+ hours flights. It will not be possible (or ideal) to use these aircraft on schedules combining long-haul and short haul. So interchangeability indeed but only after a cabin refit.
 
SKCPH
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:28 am

Here is a link to an article in danish about the SK A321LR and its seat map.....


https://insideflyer.dk/seat-map-sas-airbus-a321lr/



Rgds.
Rgds,

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BrianDromey
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:13 am

tomcat wrote:
About the interchangeability on shorter routes, it will be feasible within the practical limits set by different cabin configurations. At the legacy airlines, I expect that the XLR fleets will be fitted with low density cabins including more galley space to accommodate meal services expected on 8+ hours flights. It will not be possible (or ideal) to use these aircraft on schedules combining long-haul and short haul. So interchangeability indeed but only after a cabin refit.

Prior to COVID Aer Lingus had been flying their A321LRs on DUB-LHR/AMS and CDG between transatlantic turns. They had also been flying them on SNN-LHR and selling the Business Class cabin as AerSpace, their European premium economy option.
 
tphuang
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:16 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:

The idea is that an A321XLR will make some routes possible that previously could not be done because a wide-body is too much plane. This could be a real fragmenter. A route like JFK to almost any South American major city could be doable on a narrow-body if the plane doesn't carry much belly cargo (JFK to SCL is 4440 nmi, JFK to GRU is 4130 nmi and 4095 nmi to VCP). The lone exception would be EZE, although B6 could do that from FLL.

Within Asia and Australasia, it could be a game-changer for an airline like AirAsia or IndiGo. IndiGo could serve any European destination without penalty, and AirAsia, which is not really a cargo-heavy airline, could use that over the A330 on virtually its entire network. Also, in Russia, an airline like S7 could theoretically serve any airport in Russia capable of handling mainline aircraft from DME, bypassing OVB from eastern Siberia, and possibly (with maybe a slight westbound restriction) as far as NRT, allowing S7 to try to dispose of its 737 fleet.

Since cargo can't talk back, wide-bodies would basically be only on cargo-heavy routes, routes beyond the range of the A321XLR, or premium-heavy routes. The A321XLR's success could really crimp the A339 though.

XLR's nice range is good only for select airlines and hubs. If you are west coast airline, XLR really doesn't bring you much extra unless you operate a really premium configured aircraft.
Another 500 nm range on top of XLR would make it quite appealing. I still think there is room for NMA in there.

Out of JFK, I think JFK-GRU/GIG are two markets that seem like obvious XLR markets aside from TATL stuff. 2 other markets that could be in range are ANC and HNL from JFK. I'd be curious to see if that's possible. the problem with XLR out of JFK is that you still can't reach TLV and HND. So if you want to have a global network out of NYC, you still need widebodies.

Out of FLL/MIA, it's quite different. XLR would have all of south america and London and Madrid covered. it seems to me that JetBlue should order additional XLR for FLL. That would allow them to compete in international network vs AA. The cost of using just 1 XLR to each of the major south american and European market would be quite low compared to a legacy airline operating 77W or A350 and needing additional spares.

ScottB wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
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.


Hundreds, yes. Thousands, probably not -- unless the XLR is meaningfully more efficient than the baseline A321neo or Airbus chooses to make the XLR the production standard. Airline customers would order the XLR for mission profiles on which the A321neo would have insufficient range/payload. If you can operate a route with a less costly non-XLR A321, you just do that and have an XLR subfleet for the routes that need the capability. B6 doesn't need the XLR for BOS-LHR but they might for something like BOS-MUC.


Given they already have a lot of sales, I think it won't be that hard to reach 1000. I think it's going to replace a lot of markets that are flown with 767s, A330-200 and 787-8 that may not be daily year round and allow for extra frequencies added in peak summer season.

B6 doesn't need XLR for BOS-LHR, but I think having 2 subfleet of 13 aircraft seems to be rather inefficient. In 5 to 10 years, stuff like BOS-LHR/DUB maybe reachable with a standard A321NEO that had a couple of PIPs. It seems to me that LR will become the outlier for the airlines that ordered it. I do expect JetBlue to order more XLR, but for FLL.

VV wrote:
Noshow wrote:
I agree that the A321XLR has VERY good market perspectives.
But how much does a A321XLR have it's lower deck cargo volume blocked by tanks and piping? Could it be used for "everyday services" in between like any other A321neo when not used on long range routes? What would be the penalty to do it? So it's heavier and more expensive to buy or lease. Wouldn't it be more expensive to operate? Would it make sense to use some long range cabin configuration on shorter distances?


If you really need the range capability then it is not more expensive than a normal A321neo on per seat basis.
If you want to fly those distance with a normal A321neo you will get a severe payload impact thus the cost on per seeat basis increases significantly.

This said, do not expect to operate a 4,700 nm (equivalent still air distance) with 220 passengers even with an A321XLR.

If your network does not have any long route that needs A321XLR capability, it would be stupid to order A321XLR, because, as you rightly said, it would be more expensive to buy and to operate.

It would seem to me that the cost of purchase will be noticeably higher. But the variable cost of operating XLR vs NEO should not be much higher. After all, the main attractiveness of XLR is the fleet commonality with the regular A321NEO. I'm sure you will see XLR on some shorter utilization runs.

I cannot imagine any airline that intends to operate over 4000 nm that will configure XLR with 220 passengers. In fact, I think sub-150 is likely in most cases. You need a real J cabin, larger galley area, more bathroom.
 
VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:41 am

tphuang wrote:
...
I cannot imagine any airline that intends to operate over 4000 nm that will configure XLR with 220 passengers. In fact, I think sub-150 is likely in most cases. You need a real J cabin, larger galley area, more bathroom.



Wouldn't it be an issue from cost vs revenue point of view?
 
tommy1808
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:50 am

tphuang wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:

The idea is that an A321XLR will make some routes possible that previously could not be done because a wide-body is too much plane. This could be a real fragmenter. A route like JFK to almost any South American major city could be doable on a narrow-body if the plane doesn't carry much belly cargo (JFK to SCL is 4440 nmi, JFK to GRU is 4130 nmi and 4095 nmi to VCP). The lone exception would be EZE, although B6 could do that from FLL.

Within Asia and Australasia, it could be a game-changer for an airline like AirAsia or IndiGo. IndiGo could serve any European destination without penalty, and AirAsia, which is not really a cargo-heavy airline, could use that over the A330 on virtually its entire network. Also, in Russia, an airline like S7 could theoretically serve any airport in Russia capable of handling mainline aircraft from DME, bypassing OVB from eastern Siberia, and possibly (with maybe a slight westbound restriction) as far as NRT, allowing S7 to try to dispose of its 737 fleet.

Since cargo can't talk back, wide-bodies would basically be only on cargo-heavy routes, routes beyond the range of the A321XLR, or premium-heavy routes. The A321XLR's success could really crimp the A339 though.

XLR's nice range is good only for select airlines and hubs. If you are west coast airline, XLR really doesn't bring you much extra unless you operate a really premium configured aircraft.
Another 500 nm range on top of XLR would make it quite appealing. I still think there is room for NMA in there.


I would rather say 500 nm more range is only good for select airlines and hubs. Plenty of hubs where 500nm extra covers mostly water. But yes, for West coast hubs or 500nm really mean something, but it would seem Boeing realized that niche isn´t large enough.

best regards
Thomas
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:43 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
XLR's nice range is good only for select airlines and hubs. If you are west coast airline, XLR really doesn't bring you much extra unless you operate a really premium configured aircraft.
Another 500 nm range on top of XLR would make it quite appealing. I still think there is room for NMA in there.

I would rather say 500 nm more range is only good for select airlines and hubs. Plenty of hubs where 500nm extra covers mostly water. But yes, for West coast hubs or 500nm really mean something, but it would seem Boeing realized that niche isn´t large enough.

Meanwhile we have:

Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, has said that while the airline is considering ordering the A321XLR, he doesn’t think the airplane is a game changer:

“The new XLR could be used in our network. We look at it. But in my view it is a niche product. It will not be a game changer.”


Ref: https://onemileatatime.com/lufthansa-a321xlr/

It seems LH wants higher standards of payload, range and comfort.
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VV
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:54 pm

Revelation wrote:
...
Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, has said that while the airline is considering ordering the A321XLR, he doesn’t think the airplane is a game changer:

“The new XLR could be used in our network. We look at it. But in my view it is a niche product. It will not be a game changer.”


Ref: https://onemileatatime.com/lufthansa-a321xlr/

It seems LH wants higher standards of payload, range and comfort.


He thinks it is a niche aircraft. That's an interesting point of view from an airline CEO.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-luft ... SKCN1TP1RP

Is there any reason to believe he has a biased view?
 
tphuang
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:04 pm

Revelation wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
XLR's nice range is good only for select airlines and hubs. If you are west coast airline, XLR really doesn't bring you much extra unless you operate a really premium configured aircraft.
Another 500 nm range on top of XLR would make it quite appealing. I still think there is room for NMA in there.

I would rather say 500 nm more range is only good for select airlines and hubs. Plenty of hubs where 500nm extra covers mostly water. But yes, for West coast hubs or 500nm really mean something, but it would seem Boeing realized that niche isn´t large enough.

Meanwhile we have:

Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, has said that while the airline is considering ordering the A321XLR, he doesn’t think the airplane is a game changer:

“The new XLR could be used in our network. We look at it. But in my view it is a niche product. It will not be a game changer.”


Ref: https://onemileatatime.com/lufthansa-a321xlr/

It seems LH wants higher standards of payload, range and comfort.


If you look at gcmap, it's kind of obvious why that is. Just using 4500 nm range out of MUC. I'm using MUC because it's a smaller hub than FRA.
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=JFK-MUC%3B ... =wls&DU=mi
You can get to JFK/BOS/IAD/ORD, but it'd have real trouble reach MIA/MCO or Caribbeans let alone west coast or Texas. It won't be able to reach South America.

To south, it still can't get to south Africa, so the extra range doesn't really help much.

And to East, it will struggle to reach any of the top markets in China. I won't be able to hit Japan, Korea or Thailand.

A321XLR just doesn't seem to provide the range that LH would need. There is not many more markets that LH would not have been able to reach with an improved A321NEO.

Now, if someone can come up with a low cost aircraft with 5500 nm range, then LH will be very happy.
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=JFK-MUC%3B ... =wls&DU=mi

That's kind of the business case for NMA. Are there enough airlines like LH around where XLR does not have quite enough range or cargo capabilities, but still need the lower trip cost of a smaller aircraft?

But you know, for LCC/ULCCs with majors hubs at JFK/BOS/FLL, XLR is a dream aircraft.
Last edited by tphuang on Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
miegapele
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:05 pm

United857 wrote:
In terms of outright aerodynamic efficiency (and thus fuel burn), probably. The problem is that they also add more span than the current A320 sharklets, which is already up against the 118 ft wingspan limit for Code C, the standard size for all narrowbody gates. Doing so could potentially cause gate availability issues at major hubs where airlines are probably expecting the A321XLR to be able to use standard narrowbody gates and not require a 757/767-size Code D gate to be available.

Does Code D gates even exist these days outside US? Can't find any info on that and given space shortage and almost no 757/767 in Europe/Asia they might be long converted to C or E.
 
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A300neo
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:16 pm

lightsaber wrote:
A300neo wrote:
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.

Indigo could change quite a bit with the A321xLR. I won't be surprised if they buy 50+ xLR.


Yes definitely, I am especially looking forward to their offers of new P2P connections between India and UK. Both countries are at the most apart ~4500nm, so an aircraft with 4700nm range is perfect. These might change the market a lot.
regards A3N
 
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:25 pm

miegapele wrote:
United857 wrote:
In terms of outright aerodynamic efficiency (and thus fuel burn), probably. The problem is that they also add more span than the current A320 sharklets, which is already up against the 118 ft wingspan limit for Code C, the standard size for all narrowbody gates. Doing so could potentially cause gate availability issues at major hubs where airlines are probably expecting the A321XLR to be able to use standard narrowbody gates and not require a 757/767-size Code D gate to be available.

Does Code D gates even exist these days outside US? Can't find any info on that and given space shortage and almost no 757/767 in Europe/Asia they might be long converted to C or E.

Don't forget that the A300/A310 were Code D aircrafts, too. Therefore, there might be some D-Gates in Europe, too. However, as you said it is not easy to find out. I search myself some weeks ago, without results. I could only find pricing lists of several airports for their parking areas, but not for the gates :(

regards A3N
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:39 pm

Lol at the moist A321 discussion. I looked up some other cringe worthy words.

“The moist A321 will be like ointment on the passengers’ mucous cysts. The flavorsome customers can conversate with passion about their juicy baby bump, who they will call Nugget.”
 
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Devilfish
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:21 pm

VV wrote:
Just pronounce the words.

"Moist" does not sound nice.
"Humid" sounds better.

Perhaps it is only me.

It's only you...it actually sounds tantalizing to me. :mischievous:


LCDFlight wrote:
The flavorsome customers can conversate with passion about their juicy baby bump, who they will call Nugget.

While an accepted word, I find conversate more 'cringe-worthy' than moist. :slaphappy:


tphuang wrote:
Now, if someone can come up with a low cost aircraft with 5500 nm range, then LH will be very happy.

They need not look far...they only need to wait until Airbus stops pricing it out of the market while not really helping the A359's case.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
Happytycho
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:17 pm

Will airlines actually be able to fly 4500nm flights with the XLR?

It seems to me that after applying a substantial penalty for headwinds (especially going across the Atlantic) the true range for regularly scheduled flights should be more like 4000nm. That would still open a lot of new possibilities for narrowbody flights, but also leave plenty of routes outside its range as well.
 
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DLHAM
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:43 pm

miegapele wrote:
United857 wrote:
Does Code D gates even exist these days outside US? Can't find any info on that and given space shortage and almost no 757/767 in Europe/Asia they might be long converted to C or E.


At Hamburg the Gate Positions are built with dimensions to allow 757s and A310s alternately sitting next to each other. Sounds like Code D I dont know if this is exactly Code D. Of course you can also park Widebodies but they will block one of the two neighboring positions.
Then theres the two A380 Gates, which can either fit an A380 or two A320/737.

Happytycho wrote:
Will airlines actually be able to fly 4500nm flights with the XLR?

It seems to me that after applying a substantial penalty for headwinds (especially going across the Atlantic) the true range for regularly scheduled flights should be more like 4000nm. That would still open a lot of new possibilities for narrowbody flights, but also leave plenty of routes outside its range as well.


In my opinion: no. At least not on transatlantic routes. I think the XLR will be able to reliably deliver what the LR promises: 4000nm.
Here is a very interesting article with lots of calculations about what the XLR can and cant do.

https://epsilonaviation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/what-can-and-cant-the-a321xlr-do/
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tphuang
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:35 pm

DLHAM wrote:
Happytycho wrote:
Will airlines actually be able to fly 4500nm flights with the XLR?

It seems to me that after applying a substantial penalty for headwinds (especially going across the Atlantic) the true range for regularly scheduled flights should be more like 4000nm. That would still open a lot of new possibilities for narrowbody flights, but also leave plenty of routes outside its range as well.


In my opinion: no. At least not on transatlantic routes. I think the XLR will be able to reliably deliver what the LR promises: 4000nm.
Here is a very interesting article with lots of calculations about what the XLR can and cant do.

https://epsilonaviation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/what-can-and-cant-the-a321xlr-do/


The problem with that analysis is that premium config still only has 16J seat. Maybe some airlines will go for that config. however, as airlines intend to fly further with XLR, it will need to reserve even more galley space and use more premium config.

For example, the link stated that JetBlue uses nearly all of aircraft's range on JFK-GYE. Sure, but that's a VFR route with 200 seat capacity and people carrying a lot of luggages. Who is going to use that 200 to 240 seat config for TATL? DY has already shown 189 seat narrowbody config in TATL market would get killed. Stating those layouts are entirely pointless.

If we go by his figure that XLR can go 4450 nm TATL range in summer and 4200 nm in winter using a 150 seat config. And if 18 extra pax on TAP reduces that winter range to 3820. Then the reverse of that would indicate a 130 seat pax (30 J + 100 Y/Y+) would get 4600 nm range in winter, 4800 in summer and over 5000 nm from Florida to South America. That's pretty impressive.

With that kind of range
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=JFK-EZE%3B ... =wls&DU=mi
you can get to ANC, HNL and all the major capitals in South America from JFK. You could even reach TLV in summer time with a more premium loaded config (let's say 30J + 12W + 72 Y/Y+).
 
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:26 am

tphuang wrote:
Revelation wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
I would rather say 500 nm more range is only good for select airlines and hubs. Plenty of hubs where 500nm extra covers mostly water. But yes, for West coast hubs or 500nm really mean something, but it would seem Boeing realized that niche isn´t large enough.

Meanwhile we have:

Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, has said that while the airline is considering ordering the A321XLR, he doesn’t think the airplane is a game changer:



Ref: https://onemileatatime.com/lufthansa-a321xlr/

It seems LH wants higher standards of payload, range and comfort.


If you look at gcmap, it's kind of obvious why that is. Just using 4500 nm range out of MUC. I'm using MUC because it's a smaller hub than FRA.
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=JFK-MUC%3B ... =wls&DU=mi
You can get to JFK/BOS/IAD/ORD, but it'd have real trouble reach MIA/MCO or Caribbeans let alone west coast or Texas. It won't be able to reach South America.

To south, it still can't get to south Africa, so the extra range doesn't really help much.

And to East, it will struggle to reach any of the top markets in China. I won't be able to hit Japan, Korea or Thailand.

A321XLR just doesn't seem to provide the range that LH would need. There is not many more markets that LH would not have been able to reach with an improved A321NEO.

Now, if someone can come up with a low cost aircraft with 5500 nm range, then LH will be very happy.
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=JFK-MUC%3B ... =wls&DU=mi

That's kind of the business case for NMA. Are there enough airlines like LH around where XLR does not have quite enough range or cargo capabilities, but still need the lower trip cost of a smaller aircraft?

But you know, for LCC/ULCCs with majors hubs at JFK/BOS/FLL, XLR is a dream aircraft.

Great summary. Because of where LH, Delta, and some other airlines hub, they'll want more range.

That doesn't mean there isn't a large available market, just a large unserved market. e.g., UK to India.

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A300neo
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:14 am

lightsaber wrote:
Great summary. Because of where LH, Delta, and some other airlines hub, they'll want more range.

Yes and no, range was not the main factor, payload is (which of course is connected to range). There is a more detailed statement of LH's point of view here:

https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2019/07/0 ... rtcomings/
About half of Lufthansa’s cargo is carried in the hold of passenger planes, contributing 10-15% of flight revenue.

“This aircraft [the A321XLR] is not a cargo provider,” Lufthansa Chief Commercial Officer – Network Airlines Harry Hohmeister said. “So why should I take a maybe 0.3% cost advantage against a 10-15% revenue disadvantage as Lufthansa?”

(...)
Frankfurt is a logistics hub for Germany, the world’s third-largest exporting nation, where a third of goods by value leave the country by air. “For cargo in aviation, Frankfurt is what London is for the passenger business,” Spohr said. “If you cannot make money here in cargo or in passengers in London, you better leave the industry.”


So I'd say the range around ~4500nm would be ok for LH, you could reach Canada, the US' east coast and mid-west, India and most of China (at least Beijing, but not Hong Kong). Japan, Korea and of course Australia + New Zeeland would be out of reach. However, the possible payload should be (much) higher. If Boeing would do a 767neo, it might be a candidate .. depending on the concrete mix of MTOW, max. payload, seats etc. The article also mentioned Asia as a market with the similar demands like Lufthansa's. There a 767 with 2-4-2 abreast might be an interesting configuration, too. You would need less range there, so the aircraft could be fully packed with cargo and passengers.

As a side note, the above mentioned cargo demand of LH is probably also the reason why they didn't cancel their 777X orders.

regards
A3N
 
EduardoL
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:07 am

Any idea which MSN is the first XLR?
 
astuteman
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Re: Airbus is stepping up development A321XLR

Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:49 am

Revelation wrote:
Meanwhile we have:

Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, has said that while the airline is considering ordering the A321XLR, he doesn’t think the airplane is a game changer:

“The new XLR could be used in our network. We look at it. But in my view it is a niche product. It will not be a game changer.”


Ref: https://onemileatatime.com/lufthansa-a321xlr/

It seems LH wants higher standards of payload, range and comfort.


I love that the title of that article is

"Why Lufthansa is wrong about the A321XLR" :)

The airplane has been one of the fastest selling models we’ve ever seen in the first few days of being introduced.


To race to c. 500 sales within the first year or so of launch indicates a pretty big niche.
Whilst it might not change the game for him, it shows every sign of doing so in the wider market.

Rgds

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