The Airbus A321LR takes its first flight

Airbus took a step forward on the Airbus A320 program, with the first flight of the Airbus A321LR, a long-range version of Airbus’s best selling single-aisle jet. As per Airbus, the plane is the world’s longest-range single-aisle aircraft, is capable of flying 4000 nautical miles when configured with 206 seats, which should be good for a transatlantic flight.

Airbus A321LR First Flight


The Airbus A321LR is a reconfigured version of the A321neo, which is capable of carrying up to 240 people in a single class. The test flight took off from the Hamburg factory of Airbus today. The plane was powered by the CFM LEAP-1A engine. The new variant has an increased MTOW of 97 tonnes, an additional centre fuel tank, and a different door configuration than the earlier A321, which should allow for more passengers to be seated in the cabin.

As per Airbus, the A321LR is going to be a contender to replace Boeing 757s which are closer to retirement. The Boeing 757s are at a range of 3915 nautical miles with 228 passengers.

Boeing is studying if they want to launch the Boeing 797 (their middle-of-the-market plane) to replace the 757, but that is not a done deal yet. Boeing is looking at an aircraft with up to 270 seats, which would be a new plane altogether rather than a variation of the earlier planes.

Overall, the A321LR will have a 100 test flights to gain EASA and FAA accreditation. Certification is intended to be completed within the first half of this year, and entry into service by the end of 2018.

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Could the aircraft have the range to do long thin, non-premium heavy routes out of India? e.g. Delhi – Eastern Europe or East Asia? or Mumbai – Africa or East Asia?
    Also, does any Indian airline have this aircraft type on Order (Indigo\Vistara)

    • @Bhikaji, the aircraft could definitely do the Delhi-Eastern Europe kind of routes. No Indian airline has this aircraft on order as of now to the best of my knowledge

      • Indigo could upgrade the orders for their A321s if they wanted to open up some long thing routes to Europe, they would seem like the most likely candidates for such routes. They could use the LRs to connect DEL to East Asia – Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Bali etc or thin routes in Europe\Africa

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