TAP Air Portugal has taken its Airbus A321LR (the long-range variant of the Airbus A321neo) on a trip westbound – to Newark International Airport for its first Transatlantic flight.
TAP’s first A321LR readying for its first transatlantic flight – Image, TAP Air Portugal. https://twitter.com/tapairportugal/status/1134887326310686722
They become the first European carrier to operate the type on a transatlantic mission (with Air Transat beating them to the punch a few weeks earlier for the first operator to use the A321LR on a transatlantic mission). The service operated between Porto and Newark.
The flight is currently in progress at the time of writing – operated by CS-TXA, replacing the normally used Airbus A330 that is normally used on that route.
TAP Air Portugal A321LR first TATL flight map – Data: FlightRadar24
Whilst TAP Air Portugal has been using the type for both medium haul and short haul flights (for example the plane flying to Newark tonight has been to as far flung places such as Praia, Funchal, Sao Tome, Tel Aviv, Rome and Amsterdam).
With the plane configured with in-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi provisioned, and some comfort options including a 16 full-flat business seats, 48 “Eco Premium” extra space economy seats and 107 economy seats.
Whilst transatlantic flying with a single aisle aircraft is nothing new (Air Canada pioneered this using an A319 between St Johns and London, before switching that route to a Boeing 737 MAX – another transatlantic single aisle favourite before the type was grounded), Airbus brings range to the party.
For those who are looking at their long haul operations who are already operating the A320 family, there could be a lot to like here.
And for those operating the Boeing 757… it might be part of the answer of how to serve long and thin routes.
Header image: TAP Air Portugal. https://twitter.com/tapairportugal/status/1134887326310686722
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