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Aviation: A321LR - game changer or niche player?

SAS Scandinavian Airlines is the latest carrier to sign up for Airbus' latest narrow-body, the A321LR. The derivative of the best selling jet entered service late last year with Arkia Airlines of Israel, and announced commitments so far involve almost 150 jets.

The A321LR is similar to the A321neo which is now in widespread service, but adds three additional fuel tanks in the belly to extend its range to 4,600 miles. It is capable of accommodating as many as 244 passengers in high-density configuration (which will limit its range) or a more typical 170-200 with mixed class seating. Airbus started to offer the A321LR in 2015 and Air Lease Corporation (ALC) opened the order book with a commitment for 59. Other carriers quickly followed suit. Primera Air was set to be the launch customer until it collapsed last year, leaving Arkia Airlines of Israel as the first to put the A321LR to work in late 2018.

A321LR orders

Aer Lingus 8 (via ALC)

Air Arabia 6 (via ALC)

Air Astana 4 (via ALC)

Air Transat 15

Arkia 3

JetStar Airways 18

Norwegian 30

Peach Air 2

Primera Air 2 (via AerCap)

SAS 3 (via ALC)

SATA Acores 4 (via ALC)

TAP Portugal 10

Arkia was the first airline to put the A321LR into service. (Airbus)