Qatar Airways has converted 10 of its 50 Airbus A321neo on order to the Airbus A321LR (long range) variant of the A320 family which will enable it to reach new growing markets.
The A321LR is a type of A321neo, which has extra fuel tanks as well as a higher maximum take-off weight to give the aircraft additional range.
Qatar Airways will use the A321LR to connect Doha to new growing markets where today demand is not sufficient for widebody aircraft or where current narrowbodies (A320/A321) are unable to reach.
Alternatively, the new aircraft will be adopted to provide additional frequencies on existing Qatar Airways routes.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker said: “We have reassessed the requirements of our fleet and determined that the A321LR will bring the additional capability and range to our existing portfolio of aircraft types that we require to successfully support our global route expansion.
“Based on this analysis we have agreed with Airbus that we will convert 10 of our 50 A321neo on order to the longer range A321LR, the first of which will be delivered in 2020.”
The A321LR provides additional operational flexibility as it has the longest range of any single aisle airliner, making it ideally suited to transatlantic routes and enabling airlines to tap into new long-haul markets which were not previously accessible to single aisle aircraft.
In general, the A321LR can carry up to 206 passengers in a typical two-class layout, or up to 244 passengers in a single-class configuration on intraregional flights, offering each passenger the possibility to carry up to three bags.