An illustration of the Airbus A321XLR jet in Air Canada livery.

Air Canada Selects A321XLR for Fleet Update

March 23, 2022
A combination of orders and lease agreements for a new long-range version of the Airbus A321 will give the carrier 26 fuel-efficient aircraft capable of transcontinental and intercontinental routes.

Air Canada confirmed an order for six Airbus A321XLR aircraft, together with lease agreements for 20 more of the same aircraft. The Airbus order includes options for 14 more A321XLR, as Air Canada revamps its fleet with more fuel-efficient, long-range single-aisle aircraft capable of transcontinental and intercontinental routes.

No value has been reported for the Airbus order, though it could be worth up to $777 million based on listed prices for the A321XLR.

Deliveries for the six new aircraft will begin in 2024 and continue through 2027. Any new aircraft acquired after Air Canada exercises its options would be made through 2030.

The A321XLR is a forthcoming variant of the A321LR (the long-range version of the twin-engine narrow-body A321neo series), with a projected range of up to 4,700 nm (8,700 km, or 5,400 miles); and 30% lower fuel consumption per seat than previous-generation jets. The maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) will be 101 metric tons (111 tons), and takeoff, climb, and flight performance will be comparable to the A321neo.

Air Canada will have a choice of CFM LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G turbofan engines for its new jets.

The first A321XLR is scheduled for its commercial debut in 2023, though the OEM reports a total of 550 orders for the new model.

According to Airbus, replacing older aircraft with new A321XLRs will allow Air Canada to add new destinations “in the most sustainable way.”

Air Canada president and CEO Michael Rousseau stated that the A321XLR “will drive our core priorities of elevating the customer experience, advancing our environmental goals, network expansion and increasing our overall cost efficiency.”

He continued: “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.”

Latest from News

Aleksei Gorodenkov | Dreamstime
Dmitry Kalinovsky | Dreamstime
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics | Chris Hanoch
Carlosphotos | Dreamstime
Lockheed Martin Photo by Angel DelCueto