The first A321LR (Long Range) has taken off on its maiden flight from Hamburg, Germany, commencing its flight test programme.
The aircraft, MSN7877, is powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines.
The aircraft’s crew comprised experimental test pilots Yann Beaufils and Peter Lofts, flight test engineers Frank Hohmeister, Jim Fawcett, Cedric Favrichon, and cabin specialist Alexander Gentzsch.
The aircraft is now set to undergo a nearly 100-hour flight test programme, including transatlantic missions, for EASA and FAA Type Certification in quarter two of this year.
Entry into service is targeted for quarter four of 2018.
The A321LR features a new door configuration, enabling its operators to accommodate up to 240 passengers in Airbus’ widest single aisle fuselage in the sky.
The new Airspace by Airbus cabin available on the A320 family additionally enhances the passengers’ travel experience.
With further options, combining an increased maximum take-off weight of 97 tonnes and a third additional centre fuel tank, the aircraft’s range extends to 7,400 kilometres, allowing airlines to tap into new long range market opportunities.
Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances, and cabin innovations, the A321neo offers a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 20 per cent by 2020.