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Airbus debuts longest-range single-aisle jet

Airbus has debuted its much-anticipated A321LR, the world's longest-range jet with a single aisle currently in produc...

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 10:58 AM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 10:58 AM

Airbus has debuted its much-anticipated A321LR, the world's longest-range jet with a single aisle currently in production.

The plane took its maiden flight Wednesday from the European plane maker's factory in Hamburg, Germany.

'LR' stands for longer range. The plane can fly for 4,000 nautical miles, or about eight hours of flying, before it needs to refuel.

It is designed for transatlantic routes, as airlines want to fly non-stop to and from smaller cities that don't have the demand for a big twin-aisle aircraft.

Airlines like JetBlue Airways said it is studying whether to buy the A321LR as part of a strategy to potentially expand its service to Europe. Airbus said Wednesday it has amassed more than 1,900 orders for the A321neo and its longer-range model from more than 50 customers.

First delivery of the jets begin later in 2018 following about 100 hours of airborne tests over the coming months. The first operator has not yet been disclosed, but airlines like low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle, Air Transat in Canada and Ireland's Aer Lingus have committed to the plane.

Airbus has made small modifications to its A320neo to create A321LR. It has as many as three additional fuel tanks and can carry about 7,700 pounds of additional gas or passengers and their bags.

The arrival of the A321LR is part of an escalating fight between Airbus and its American rival Boeing over what the plane makers have dubbed "the middle of the market."

With the A321LR, Airbus says it "has captured a solid 80%" of market for flights that don't need a long-range jet, but are too busy for a small single-aisle aircraft.

Boeing, meantime, is still pondering plans for its first new jetliner since 2011. The jet is dryly called the "New Mid-Market Airplane," but it has been dubbed the Boeing "797" by prospective customers.

The "797" is a small twin-aisle airplane that could seat between 225 and 270 passengers for flights of up to 5,200 nautical miles, or just over 10 hours.

The jet will be tailored to serve congested airports on routes such as New York to Los Angeles. Like the A321LR, the Boeing plane should also be efficient enough to serve medium-range flights connecting the United States to smaller European cities.

The jet would fill a gap between Boeing's single-aisle 737 workhorse and its advanced long range 787.

Boeing hasn't given the green light to build the 797 and would have to spend $10 billion to $15 billion to bring it so market, a vast sum more than Airbus is spending to create the lightly upgraded A321LR.

So Boeing will need to charge a premium price to earn back its investment as it battles the A321.

Boeing believes there could be a market for more than 4,000 such aircraft over 20 years starting around 2025 when the plane would first fly passengers. However, some industry analysts believe that figure is closer to 2,500 aircraft.

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said the company is talking to more than 50 customers about the plane.

Meanwhile, Boeing started taking orders in June for its stretched 737 Max 10, which arrives in 2020. That's aimed at blunting the runaway success of the A321neo and sibling A321LR while Boeing figures out what it wants to do with a new jet.

"We're not going to launch this airplane unless the business case makes good sense," Muilenburg said of the prospective 797 on Wednesday. "We still have time to do our homework and make the right decision, so we're not going to be rushed into a decision here."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501097

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34338538
DeSoto32117403
Hinds31939628
Jackson24494382
Rankin21995390
Lee15543235
Madison14581280
Jones13851242
Forrest13453251
Lauderdale11991317
Lowndes11050188
Lamar10521135
Pearl River9533237
Lafayette8550140
Hancock7732127
Washington7438158
Oktibbeha7146131
Monroe6777177
Warren6694176
Pontotoc6664102
Neshoba6637206
Panola6531131
Marshall6467134
Bolivar6317148
Union602894
Pike5820152
Alcorn5669101
Lincoln5436135
George496879
Scott472898
Tippah469281
Prentiss467281
Leflore4658144
Itawamba4636105
Tate4588111
Adams4587119
Copiah448592
Simpson4446116
Yazoo444187
Wayne439772
Covington428894
Sunflower4239105
Marion4226108
Coahoma4160105
Leake408288
Newton381779
Grenada3707108
Stone360364
Tishomingo359792
Attala331589
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay308076
Chickasaw300367
Clarke292494
Calhoun279446
Holmes267987
Smith264050
Yalobusha234047
Tallahatchie228051
Greene219348
Walthall218763
Lawrence212940
Perry205556
Amite205156
Webster202946
Noxubee186740
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171743
Carroll169138
Tunica159839
Benton148838
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132737
Humphreys129538
Franklin120228
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64120
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 819597

Reported Deaths: 15406
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1147901924
Mobile725791338
Madison52306697
Shelby37597350
Baldwin37245552
Tuscaloosa35101612
Montgomery34106740
Lee23526246
Calhoun22225488
Morgan20941378
Etowah19825500
Marshall18361304
Houston17384412
St. Clair16054339
Cullman15443293
Limestone15343199
Elmore15241286
Lauderdale14302295
Talladega13836283
DeKalb12649261
Walker11202370
Blount10192176
Autauga10043148
Jackson9871184
Coffee9210191
Dale8897185
Colbert8860201
Tallapoosa7084198
Escambia6772134
Covington6712183
Chilton6641162
Russell636659
Franklin5959105
Chambers5607142
Marion5005127
Dallas4973200
Pike4795106
Clarke475584
Geneva4571127
Winston4516103
Lawrence4321117
Bibb425186
Barbour357776
Marengo338090
Monroe331464
Randolph329764
Butler326396
Pickens316284
Henry312666
Hale311388
Cherokee302860
Fayette292880
Washington251551
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245275
Clay243368
Macon234663
Lamar224147
Conecuh186153
Coosa180240
Lowndes175164
Wilcox168839
Bullock151644
Perry138840
Sumter133038
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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Clear cool and dry to begin your weekend, but both afternoons should be a little bit above what we expect for this time of year temperature wise. Rain chances begin to return late Sunday night, with at least two chances for storms over the next week, summer could be strong.
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