- Airbus just announced the launch of the A321XLR, a new a long-range, single-aisle airliner — a smaller plane that can do longer flights.
- It has beaten Boeing to an untapped market, after Boeing spent years considering whether to invest in creating such an aircraft.
- Boeing poured cold water on the idea that it would announce a similar jet soon, saying it was still looking at the "business case" as its executives were quizzed about its 737 Max crisis.
- Airbus claims its new jets size and fuel efficiency will give airlines greater value and open up new routes, and that 27 jets have been ordered.
- Read more stories like this on Business Insider.
PARIS, France — Airbus has beaten Boeing to an untapped market by launching a smaller plane for long-haul flights.
The announcement means that Airbus has leaped ahead of Boeing in deciding to create a long-range, single-aisle aircraft, a move that Boeing had considered for years and was deciding whether it should spend an estimated $15 billion on.
On Monday, Boeing poured cold water on the idea that it would announce a similar aircraft soon. Executives from the company said they "continue to work on the business case" of investing in such a plane, which it calls a new midsize airplane (NMA).
Airbus described that the new A321 as "the next evolutionary step which responds to market needs for even more range, and creates more value for the airlines by bringing 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation competitor aircraft."
It said that the aircraft would provide new value for airlines and open up new routes.
"With this added range, airlines will be able to operate a lower-cost single-aisle aircraft on longer and less heavily travelled routes – many of which can now only be served by larger and less efficient wide-body aircraft.
"This will enable operators to open new world-wide routes such as India to Europe or China to Australia, as well as further extending the [A320 family’s] non-stop reach on direct transatlantic flights between continental Europe and the Americas."
Airbus said that a redesigned cabin will give passengers "the same high-comfort as on long-haul widebody aircraft."
John Plueger, the CEO of Air Lease, which announced it intends to order 27 of the planes, said he saw Airbus’ plane as a competitor to a possible NMA that arrived on the market sooner.
"It does provide a very effective airplane for many of the same routes as the NMA, and it does so many years earlier," he said, Reuters reported.
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- The FAA says Boeing’s troubled 737 Max may not fly again until December — far later than many expected