ITA Airways continues to expand its fleet, with the airline taking delivery of its first Airbus A321neo.
The aircraft is being delivered on a lease from Air Lease Corporation, with it being handed over at Airbus’ Hamburg production facilities.
This latest addition continues to follow ITA Airways’ all-Airbus fleet strategy, which currently stands at 81 aircraft and includes A220, A320neo, A330neo and A350 aircraft.
This A321neo is a little different than normal – and we can see that ITA Airways will be targeting it for medium-haul use. This can be been seen in the configuration of the aircraft which features 12 Business Class full flat beds with direct aisle access, 12 Premium Economy seats in 4-abreast, and 141 Economy seats of which 12 are dedicated to Comfort Economy in the usual 3-3 formation.
This compares the the usual all-economy layout, with Eurobusiness seating offered.
ITA Airways’ A321neo aircraft features Airbus’ Airspace cabin design, which includes new XL overhead bins and customised interior lighting based on the latest full-LED technologies to help reduce jet lag.
In addition, to enhance the passenger experience, each seat is equipped with the latest generation in-flight entertainment system with individual screens and on-demand content, with 17.3” screens in Business Class, 15.6” in Premium Economy and 13.3” in Economy Class. The aircraft will have satellite connectivity installed to
This could be very interesting – where will it fly?
ITA Airways has chosen to go with a medium/long haul configuration with this new aircraft – which brings the question – where it fly?
Given this is an Airbus A321neo (not an LR or XLR), it will be range-constrained, with it able to fly a typical 4,000 nautical miles, 4,600 miles or 7,400 km. That’s a large window, opening up destinations in the Middle East and Africa – although the USA would be out of range given the airlines bases in Italy.
I’ll be keeping an eye on where this aircraft ends up operating – it could offer good economics for the airline to operate the thinner routes that need to be served but don’t have the passenger traffic to justify a widebody aircraft…
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