Airbus has an order for 50 A321neo narrow-body aircraft from Qatar Airways, with deliveries to begin in 2019. The booking, which is valued at $6.35 billion at list prices, updates and expands an earlier contract placed by Qatar Airways in 2011.
The A321neo is the largest variant of the OEM’s single-aisle, twin-engine A320 series jets with the “new engine option,” a choice of Pratt & Whitney PW1133G-JM or CFM International LEAP-1A engines. Along with the new engine options, the redesigned A320 series’ sharklet wing fixtures help to increase fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
Qatar Airways selected the A320 series Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF) configuration, with relocated cabin doors and other modifications to the fuselage that give carriers the ability to increase seating, including more “underfloor” fuel capacity to support a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles (i.e., trans-Atlantic routes.)
The order is considered to be part of the airline’s ongoing route expansion effort; in 2017, it introduced new service to Western and Central Europe, Russia, and Southeast Asia, and more new destinations will be added in 2018. The airline also will be the global launch customer for the Airbus A350-1000 wide-body jet during the coming year.
“At a time when Qatar Airways is experiencing unprecedented growth and expansion the need for efficient, reliable and modern aircraft has never been greater,” commented Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker. “To answer our need for growth and additional capacity, the A321neo ACF is a world-class choice for our passengers and for our business. Qatar Airways is the fastest growing airline in the world and with this aircraft we will operate the youngest fleet whilst delivering unprecedented comfort and services to our customers.”