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Shamrock Takes Flight: First A321XLR Bound for Aer Lingus

The first Airbus A321XLR aircraft is bound for Aer Lingus, its Ireland-based launch customer. Spotted in Hamburg, Germany, the aircraft reveals a teal-coloured tail with a green shamrock painted in the airline's livery.  


A321XLR, the newest addition to the Airbus A320 family, will soon supply the market gap left behind by the Boeing 757 aircraft, which are being phased out worldwide. With its extended flight range and Airbus' award-winning Airspace interior, it will soon fill the gap left by the Boeing 757s.  

The Irish flag carrier ordered six A321XLRs in June 2019 as part of its strategy to expand its network in Canada and along the US coast. It is expected to become the first customer of the type, with an aircraft delivery expected in the final quarter of 2024. 


The A321XLRs have a two-class cabin configuration: economy class and business class with lie-flat seats, accommodating 180 to 220 passengers. An extended-range version of the A321neo and A321LR aircraft types, the A321XLR has a range of 4,700 nautical miles and a 30% reduction in fuel consumption. It boasts enhanced efficiency and enables the narrowbody aircraft to undertake nonstop flights of up to 11 hours.  


Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton said, "They're also cost-competitive against the larger wide-bodied aircraft that we deploy across the Atlantic. So, that gives profitable economic growth for us. And we also like them because of their range. So these are going into more cities than we're able to do with our existing A321LR aircraft." 


However, the A321XLR bound for Aer Lingus is undergoing the final stages of aircraft certification. While it was initially expected to enter into service in the second quarter of 2024, the timeline has been pushed back due to certification delays. 


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