Iberia to become world’s first airline to fly Airbus A321XLR

Iberia announced Sunday that it will be the launch customer for the new Airbus A321XLR aircraft, with the first delivery expected after summer 2024.

The Spanish carrier has ordered eight of the single-aisle, long-range jets that can fly transatlantic routes while burning 30% less fuel than widebody planes like the A330 and A350.

“With this aircraft, Iberia will reinforce its long-haul network in an innovative way, as it will be able to make transoceanic trips with a single-aisle aircraft which is also more sustainable,” the airline stated.

The A321XLR has a range of up to 4,700 nautical miles (8,700 km). Iberia said the first long-haul routes will likely be to Boston and Washington, D.C. this winter.

The planes will be fitted with 14 lie-flat business class seats and 168 economy seats. While configured with a single aisle, Iberia promises an identical premium experience as its widebody aircraft.

“The A321XLR will have 14 individual window seats with direct access to the aisle” in business class, the airline said. “The seats will offer maximum comfort, with a ‘full flat’ seat that converts into a bed.”

Both cabins will feature 4K seatback screens, LED lighting, larger overhead bins and connectivity for free messaging.

“This aircraft will strengthen Iberia’s long-haul fleet and will do so in a more sustainable and innovative way,” Iberia’s press release stated.

Originally, the launch customer of new A321 variant was Aer Lingus, according to a report from ch-aviation. However, parent company International Airlines Group decided to reallocate the first A321XLR to Iberia following a pilot pay dispute with the Irish carrier.

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