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Airbus just officially announced the launch of their much-anticipated A321XLR aircraft, timed perfectly with the Paris Air Show this year. With a seriously troubled Boeing currently focused on damage control over the 737MAX debacle, they are poised to best the U.S. jet manufacturer at the biannual event. I expect that the A321XLR will be a hit with airlines, given its fuel efficiency and incredible range for a single-aisle aircraft.

But will it be a hit with passengers?

Would you fly 8 hours on a narrow-body jet?

The Airbus A321XLR has the range to fly routes that previously would were previously impossible for any narrow-body aircraft. It can make a 4,700 nautical mile (~5,400 miles) trek nonstop. This opens up a large number of routes currently only served by wide-body aircraft to A321XLR service. Examples of some of the city pairs that could be served are:

  • San Francisco to Reykjavik
  • Houston to Buenos Aires
  • New York to Honolulu
  • Philadelphia to Athens
  • Seattle to Tokyo
  • Singapore to Auckland

Would you fly any of those? I can attest that I feel so much more comfortable sitting in the cabin of a wide-body. Even if the seats aren’t any larger, the more spacious cabin makes the plane feel so much less cramped. I’ve been on many completely full flights across the country, and even if it is an enjoyable experience (SEE: Delta 737-900 Economy Review), I cannot deny that I’m happy to deplane. I’m not sure I could fly twice as far, unless I was sitting up front.

What do you think of the potential routes that could be flown with the A321XLR? Would you spend 8-9 hours on a single-aisle plane?


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