HomeTravel ResourcesIberia Now Airbus A321XLR Launch Buyer, Replaces Aer Lingus

Iberia Now Airbus A321XLR Launch Buyer, Replaces Aer Lingus


Iberia has simply formally turn into the brand new world launch buyer for the Airbus A321XLR, due to Aer Lingus’ ongoing pay dispute with pilots.

Iberia shall be first airline to fly Airbus A321XLR

In June 2019, Airbus formally launched the Airbus A321XLR, which would be the world’s longest vary slim physique jet. This plane relies on the Airbus A321 household of plane, however options much more incremental vary enchancment over the A321neo and A321LR (which have already got extra vary than the A321ceo).

Airways have ordered a whole bunch of those jets, as they search for lengthy vary, low capability jets, that may open up all types of latest markets. The primary A321XLR is predicted to be delivered to airways in Q3 2024.

The launch buyer for the aircraft is Worldwide Airways Group (IAG), the dad or mum firm of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and many others. The corporate ordered 14 of those jets, with eight meant for Iberia and 6 meant for Aer Lingus.

Initially the plan was for Aer Lingus to be the launch buyer for the aircraft, however that’s not the case. Iberia is now the worldwide launch buyer for the A321XLR, and the jet ought to enter service earlier than the top of 2024, assuming all goes as deliberate.

Iberia has even introduced the primary routes to get the A321XLR. Presumably after some crew familiarization flights, the jet will make its lengthy haul debut flying from Madrid (MAD) to each Boston (BOS) and Washington (IAD). The precise entry into service particulars stay to be seen. We additionally haven’t but discovered what to anticipate from the interiors of those jets.

Whereas the A321XLR is marketed as opening up new markets that wouldn’t in any other case be doable, on this case the jet merely represents a downgrade for current routes which might be at the moment operated by A330s.

Iberia A321XLR
Iberia Airbus A321XLR

Why Aer Lingus is not Airbus A321XLR launch buyer

As talked about above, Aer Lingus was alleged to be the primary airline to begin flying the Airbus A321XLR, so what occurred? Aer Lingus has been having a pay dispute with its pilots, as administration and the union haven’t been in a position to agree on new pay charges.

Aer Lingus pilots are searching for wage will increase of greater than 20%, to mirror inflation through the years, plus salaries at competing airways. In the meantime administration hasn’t been keen to budge past an 8.5% increase.

Administration has threatened that if pilots don’t conform to a deal, the airline will defer Airbus A321XLR deliveries for the airline (and in flip, scale back flying alternatives for pilots). The 2 events had till April 29, 2024, to return to an settlement, and have been unable to take action.

IAG has lengthy taken a ruthless strategy to negotiations with employees, so I’m not shocked to see that the corporate adopted via with its risk. As a spokesperson explains:

“Sadly, Aer Lingus was not in a position to give IAG the price construction assurances vital for this funding and so the inaugural A321 XLR – initially deliberate for Aer Lingus – shall be allotted elsewhere within the group.”

Now, it’s price emphasizing that for now, solely the primary A321XLR supply has been allotted to Iberia, so getting the second (or third) A321XLR continues to be probably within the playing cards, if an settlement may be reached. Moreover, it’s simply the timeline that’s being delayed right here, and it’s not essentially that the variety of jets going to Aer Lingus is altering (although administration threatens that would occur if a positive deal isn’t reached).

Understand that Aer Lingus already has eight Airbus A321LRs in its fleet, which is the marginally shorter vary model of the identical jet. So in some ways, Aer Lingus already has a jet able to working comparable providers (between Eire and the Northeast of america and Canada).

For Aer Lingus, the best good thing about the A321XLR would simply be absolute development, reasonably than essentially opening up new markets. In the meantime Iberia doesn’t have a comparable jet but.

Aer Lingus A321XLR
Aer Lingus Airbus A321XLR

Backside line

If all goes as deliberate, Iberia would be the world launch buyer for the Airbus A321XLR, and may begin flying the jet as of late 2024. That is an thrilling new plane that’s going to open up all types of latest markets for airways. Iberia states that it’s going to fly these plane from Madrid to each Boston and Washington, although we’ll have to remain tuned for the main points (hopefully sooner or later it’s used to really open up new markets, reasonably than downgrade current routes).

Aer Lingus was alleged to be the launch buyer for the A321XLR, although a pay dispute with pilots has brought about the airline to defer these deliveries.

What do you make of Iberia’s Airbus A321XLR plans?

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