Airbus recently revealed a new aircraft called the A321XLR, taking flight in 2023, which will be able to travel the longest out of any single-aisle plane (about 5,400 miles) that is currently in operation. The A321XLR will be able to go further than the Boeing 737 or the Boeing 757, and 15 percent further than the A321XL. Plus, the aircraft will feature the Airspace by Airbus cabin like the one found on the A330-900neo, and will be just as fuel-efficient as the A321XL.
Due to the size of the cabin, business and economy cabins will be smaller and there will be less space for even the higher-paying passengers. Although this won’t be the case all the time, airlines may choose business class seats that don’t offer direct-aisle access to everyone. For economy passengers, you are probably in luck because Airbus is known to offer the most space than Boeing, so don’t fear the “shrinking seat” for the A321XLR.
One downside to the A321XLR is the amount of area available for passengers to walk around, especially since these jets are designed for long-haul travel. You already know that twin-aisle jets allow you get up and make one or a few laps around the entire cabin, passing through the alleys and rows, whereas the single-aisle jet only has one aisle to go up and down. It’s not very the best option when your traveling for 8 to 10 hours straight.
Another downside to the A321XLR will be for the flight attendants, who usually have bunks above the main cabins on larger aircraft. However, due to the size of the A321XLR, Airbus isn’t able to install these rooms for the flight crew to rest during the long flights.
With the addition of the A321XLR, you could see an increase of more long-haul flights, especially transatlantic ones. This is very attractive for carriers who want to be able to save more, fly often and expand their connections. The airlines that have already purchased the A321XLR for their fleet—some of which will replace a few of their older planes—are American Airlines, Qantas, Aer Lingus, JetSmart, Iberia, Cebu Pacific, JetBlue, Frontier Airlines, Wizz Air and possibly TAP Portugal, which is very interested.
What are your thoughts about the A321XLR?