The Qantas Group has secured up to 36 Airbus A321 XLR (extra long range) aircraft for delivery from financial year 2024 onwards, in an update of its existing order.
The update will see 26 of the Group’s existing A321 NEO orders converted to A321 XLRs and add a further 10 XLRs, taking the total order from 99 aircraft to 109. The order includes significant flexibility for the Qantas Group to make adjustments to delivery schedules depending on market conditions.
The A321 XLR has a range of around 8,700 kilometers, which is 15 percent longer than the A321 LR. Depending on cabin configuration it can carry up to 244 passengers. It offers a 30 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation aircraft.
Key to the XLR’s flying range
Alan Joyce, Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We already know the A320 is a great aircraft and this new variant can fly further and more efficiently than any other single aisle jet on the market. It can fly routes like Cairns-Tokyo or Melbourne-Singapore, which existing narrow-bodies can’t, and that changes the economics of lots of potential routes into Asia to make them not just physically possible but financially attractive.
“We’ll take a decision closer to the time about which parts of the Group will use these aircraft, but there is plenty of potential across Qantas and Jetstar. We’ll also take a view on whether they are used to replace older aircraft or whether they are used for growth, which will depend on what’s happening in the market.
“All fleet decisions we make are ultimately guided by our financial framework, which balances our capital expenditure and our
As announced in early 2018, the first deliveries from the Group’s A320 Family order will begin with 18 A321LR aircraft for Jetstar, arriving between mid-2020 and mid-2022. These will operate a mix of domestic and international routes. The first A321 XLR would be available to the Group from the 2024 financial year onwards.
Following this update, the Qantas Group A320 Family order sits at 28 x A321 LRs, 36 x A321 XLRs and 45 x A320 NEOs, with continued flexibility around timing and structure in negotiation with Airbus.