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Airbus rides high with new plane and big new sale

January 9, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Airbus has signed a tentative deal with Turkish Airlines for a potential order of 25 A350-900 aircraft and on another front has completed assembly of a “new evolution” A321 plane which could fly from Sydney to Singapore carrying up to 240 passengers.

The longer-range version of the new A321 has greater capacity than its predecessors.

The Turkish Airlines order is non-binding but has been hailed by Airbus. State-owned Turkish Airlines is one of the world’s fastest growing carriers, and as it uses both Airbus and Boeing jets, there is much rivalry concerning its orders for new planes.

Airbus chief executive Tom Enders signed the deal with Turkish Airlines during an official visit by Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan to Paris on Friday.

Turkish Airlines A350

Meanwhile, Airbus has completed assembly of the first A321neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex) at its facilities in Hamburg, Germany.

Powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, the new plane will undergo ground tests prior to its scheduled first flight in the coming weeks. First delivery of an A321neo ACF to a customer is scheduled in just a few months, mid-2018.

Airbus says that modifications to the fuselage let the ACF offer more flexible cabin configurations for up to 240 passengers.

“Compared to the previous A321 variant, the most visible modifications are a new rear section and a modified passenger door configuration, where the door located forward of the wing is removed and new overwing emergency exits in the centre section are introduced,” Airbus says.

Airbus A321neo ACF rolls out

“The A321neo ACF is an option today and will become standard for all A321neos around 2020.”

The A321neo ACF is the base for a longer-range variant known as the A321LR. The A321LR has an increased maximum take-off weight of 97 tonnes and a third underfloor fuel tank allowing airlines to increase its range to 4000 nautical miles (7408 kilometres) for intercontinental flights. The first delivery of an A321LR is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2018.

The A321neo offers a reduction in fuel consumption of at least 15% per seat from day one and 20% by 2020.

Written by Peter Needham

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