In a major blow to Boeing, Air Canada has opted for 26 Airbus A321XLRs to operate across the North Atlantic.
Air Canada has confirmed an order with Airbus for six A321XLR aircraft and is acquiring an additional 20 through lessors.
The airline ordered and has in service, 34 737 MAX aircraft to replace its A320 fleet but is now going back to Airbus. It does however have a large fleet of Boeing 777s and 787s for its long-haul operations.
Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada said the airline “is committed to further strengthening its market-leading position, especially through investments in new technology.
“The acquisition of the state-of-the-art Airbus A321XLR is an important element of this strategy and will drive our core priorities of elevating the customer experience, advancing our environmental goals, network expansion, and increasing our overall cost efficiency.
“This order also shows that Air Canada is emerging strongly from the pandemic and is ideally positioned to grow, compete and thrive in a reshaped global aviation industry.”
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International said “the exceptional versatility and performance of the A321XLR will enable Air Canada to further develop its network expansion in a sustainable way with increased efficiencies and reduced CO2 emissions.
“We thank Air Canada for its confidence in us and are delighted by the step-up in our longstanding relationship.”
Airbus said the A321XLR is a perfect fit for Air Canada’s fleet, given its history of operating the entire A320-Family as well as Airbus’ long-range A330-300 widebody and more recently, Airbus’ latest-generation single-aisle aircraft, the A220.
The A321XLR will fly up to 4,700nm, with 30 percent lower fuel consumption per seat compared to previous-generation aircraft as well as reduced NOx emissions and noise. The aircraft will feature the Airbus Airspace cabin.
By the end of February 2022, the A320neo Family had accumulated nearly 7,900 orders from over 120 customers worldwide. A321XLR orders stood at 515 from 25 customers