On Friday, TAP Portugal took delivery of their first Airbus A321LR aircraft.
The airline becomes the first in the world to operate a combined Airbus A330neo and A321LR fleet.
The plane will be configured in a three-class cabin, split down the following:
- 16 Business Class Seats
- 48 Eco Premium Seats
- 107 Economy Class Seats
This is the first of twelve A321LR aircraft to enter the fleet, with the A321LR will be powered by CFM engines, whilst the seats are fitted with an IFE system and in-flight connectivity.
On its entry into service, the A321LR will first stretch its legs on the Lisbon to Tel Aviv route. TAP Portugal intends to look beyond this route, with possible routes to North America, South America and Africa.
And this infographic by Airbus shows many possibilities.
TAP Portugal’s mainline fleet is all-Airbus, operating five A330neo, 13 A330ceo,4 A340s, and 45 A320 Family aircraft.
Antonoaldo Neves, CEO, TAP Air Portugal said
“The A321LR is critical for TAP’s expansion plans. With its superior range we can comfortably explore markets in North America, South America and Africa from Portugal, and it’ll fit in seamlessly with our A330neos,” said “In North America it allows us to explore markets on the East Coast, such as New York, Boston, Montreal or Washington. In Brazil the A321LR can open new markets in the Northeast and complement existing services to cities like Recife, Natal, Fortaleza or Salvador,”
“The aircraft are equipped with the latest-generation full flat business class and high comfort economy seats, a full suite of in-flight entertainment (IFE) and connectivity, as well as free messaging services”.
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer said:
“We applaud TAP Air Portugal for becoming the first airline to leverage the benefits of the A321LR and the A330neo in a common fleet. The A321LR and A330neo working in tandem have the middle market segment nicely covered. The ‘Airbus NEO Midsize Aircraft’ – let’s call them the ‘A-NMA’s,’ are a winning, seamless combination – unprecedented capacity and transatlantic range with single aisle cost with the A321LR, and unbeatable unit costs and flexibility for true long haul with the A330neo. Both with the most contemporary technology and cabin comfort in their class”.
The long range possibilities are endless… (well limited to 4000nm)
The advantage the Airbus A321LR brings to the table is rather simple – it allows the plane to fly up to 4000 nautical miles (or 7,400km).
This is done by trading payload space for extra fuel tanks in the belly of the plane – in effect a modern day equivalent of a Boeing 757, but with the economics of operating a modern aircraft. With airlines seeking solutions to the ageing 757 fleets, you can be sure that other airlines will be keeping an eye on the in-service performance of the A321LR – be it as an acquisition, or as a stick to beat another company as it firms up its New “Middle of the Market” aircraft.
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