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  • Joe Breitfeller

Air Canada to Acquire 26 Airbus A321XLRs, Six Directly From Airbus and 20 More From Lessors

Air Canada has confirmed an order six Airbus A321XLRs which was previously listed as undisclosed in the Airbus order book. The carrier will also acquire an additional 20 A321neo extra-long-range (XLR) aircraft through lessors, expanding their fleet to 26 of the type.


Air Canada Airbus A321neo Rendering - Courtesy Airbus

On Tuesday (March 22, 2022), Airbus announced that Air Canada has ordered six Airbus A321neo extra-long-range (XLR) aircraft. The order was previously listed as ‘undisclosed’ in the Airbus order book. The Canadian flag carrier will also acquire 20 additional A321XLRs through lessors, expanding their commitment to the type to 26 aircraft. With a range of up to 4,700 nautical miles (8,700 kilometers), a 30 percent reduction in fuel consumption and lower emissions compared to previous generation models, the A321XLR will allow Air Canada to add new destinations in a more sustainable way. The aircraft will allow Air Canada to serve all North American destinations, as well as flights from Eastern Canada to a larger selection of European destinations.


In Tuesday’s announcement, Air Canada’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Rousseau, said,


“Air Canada is committed to further strengthen 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.”


Also commenting on the A321XLR order, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, Christian Scherer, 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.”


Deliveries of Air Canada’s new A321XLRs are expected to take place from the first quarter of 2024 through the first quarter of 2027. Fifteen aircraft will be leased from Air Lease Corporation (ALC), five will be leased from AerCap, and six will be purchased directly from Airbus. The carrier’s agreement with Airbus also includes purchase rights for an additional 14 aircraft between 2027 and 2030. Air Canada’s A321XLRs will accommodate 182 passengers with 14 lie-flat Signature Class seats and 168 Economy Class seats. The carrier is still in the process of selecting engines for the new aircraft. At December 31, 2021, Air Canada had a combined mainline and Air Canada Rouge fleet of 214 aircraft, including 136 narrowbody models.


As of the end of February 2022, the Airbus A320neo Family had accumulated nearly 7,900 orders from over 120 customers worldwide, with the A321XLR having received 515 orders from 25 customers.


Air Canada Airbus A321neo XLR Rendering - Courtesy Air Canada/CNW Telbec

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline. The Canadian flag carrier is a founding member of the Star Alliance and the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. For the last two years Air Canada was also named Global Traveler’s ‘Best Airline in North America.’ Additionally, Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050.



Source(s): Airbus, Air Canada/CNW Telbec