The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is continuing the A321XLR test program, which should lead to the certification of the model. Now a copy is being sent on a ten-day tour around the world. The manufacturer currently assumes that the first unit can be put into service in the second quarter of 2024.
The Airbus A321XLR is based on the A321neo and is a version with even greater range than the A321LR, which is already in active scheduled service with some carriers. It is a narrowbody that can be used on long distances. Compared to widebodies, it is cheaper to purchase and operate, which is why numerous airlines have ordered this model in order to use it on connections where larger aircraft would not be worthwhile.
In a sense, it is also the successor to the aging long-haul version of the Boeing 757, because the US manufacturer cannot offer a direct successor in the single-aisle area. It is precisely this gap that the Europeans want to slip into with the A321LR and A321XLR models.
While the first model mentioned is already approved and is in regular service with many operators, the A321XLR is still in the certification process. Airbus is now sending a test aircraft on a ten-day tour around the world. The machine has been on the road since September 13, 2023 and is expected to complete at least 100 flight hours. Short and long-haul flights will be tested.
In addition to the data that must be obtained for certification, the aircraft manufacturer also uses the tour for advertising purposes. It is hoped that with the help of the “live demonstrations” we can convince even more potential customers and get them to place orders.