Wizz Air signs order for 20 Airbus 321 XLR aircraft

Airbus A321XLR. Image

Airbus A321XLR. Image

The Qantas order for the Airbus aircraft could represent a major blow to Boeing's newest project, even before it gets off the ground. Airbus has not indicated the difference between the base A321neo's list price of $129.5 million and the list price for an A321XLR.

Leasing company Air Lease Corp became the first customer of the new aircraft - the A321XLR - lining up for 27 as part of a deal for 100 Airbus planes. The embattled aircraft maker announced Tuesday that it has sold 30 of its 787 Dreamliner jets to Korean Air, which already had purchased 11 of the wide-body jets for its fleet.

Reuters last month reported the Malaysian low-priced carrier was in negotiations to buy the new longer-range version of the A321 passenger jet, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

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Airbus's new long-range, single-aisle plane has been the star of this year's Paris Air Show.

The-Fort Worth-based airline, which is the largest Airbus operator, said that the new jets are lighter and can fly farther, enabling the company to take its passengers to new destinations in Europe and South America.

Airbus sales chief Christian Scherer said there was some softness in the market but did not see an increase in cancellations. The new jetliner is to be the longest-range narrow-body aircraft with a range of up to 4,700nm (8,700 km) in a two-class layout. It is 30 percent more fuel efficient than jets now offered by competitors, according to Netherlands-based company, and can fly up to 4,700 miles.

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Airbus called on Thursday for a chance to compete for a blockbuster plane order by British Airways owner IAG, which stunned industry executives at this week's Paris Airshow by ordering 200 of Boeing's grounded 737 MAX.

Airbus will fit the A321XLR with the same Airspace cabin as the twin-aisle A330neo and A350 jets - a package combining a quieter cabin, LED lighting and larger overhead storage bins.

Kevin McAllister, the CEO of Boeing's commercial aircraft, told reporters at the Paris Air Show that the firm was "very sorry for the loss of lives" in the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March, both involving Boeing's 737 Max aircraft. The Memorandum of Understanding includes new orders for 32 A321XLRs and the conversion of 18 existing A320neo family orders.

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