International Airlines Group is ordering eight Airbus A321XLR aircraft for Iberia and six for Aer Lingus, plus 14 options. The airlines will be among the launch customers for the extra long-range narrowbody aircraft with their first deliveries scheduled for 2023.
The A321XLR will be used to expand Aer Lingus and Iberia’s existing long-haul fleets. Each aircraft will be fitted with Economy Class and Business Class cabins including full flat seats. They will also feature the same gate-to-gate inflight entertainment, Internet connectivity and ambient lighting as new generation long-haul aircraft.
The aircraft will enable Aer Lingus to launch new routes beyond the US East Coast and Canada. The airline is already taking eight A321neo LR on lease, with the first delivery scheduled for this summer.
For Iberia, this is a new aircraft type that will enable it to operate new transatlantic destinations and increase frequencies in key markets.
Willie Walsh, Chief Executive, IAG, said: “The A321XLR has the same unit cost as a widebody long-haul aircraft, which will enable profitable network expansion. This will strengthen both Dublin and Madrid hubs providing new transatlantic routes and additional flexibility for connecting passengers. These aircraft will also bring further cost efficiencies and environmental benefits.”
IAG has also signed a letter of intent with Boeing for 200 B737 aircraft to join its fleet. The LOI is subject to formal agreement.
The mix of B737-8 and B737-10 aircraft would be delivered between 2023 and 2027 and would be powered by CFM Leap engines. It is anticipated that the aircraft would be used by a number of the Group’s airlines including Vueling and LEVEL, plus British Airways at London Gatwick Airport.
Willie Walsh, said: “We are very pleased to sign this letter of intent with Boeing and are certain that these aircraft will be a great addition to IAG’s short-haul fleet. We have every confidence in Boeing and expect that the aircraft will make a successful return to service in the coming months having received approval from the regulators.”