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Fri, Jul 07, 2023

Icelandair to Acquire First Airbus Aircraft

Icelandic Flag Carrier Orders 13 A321XLR Jets

Icelandair, the Keflavik-based Icelandic flag-carrier, has placed a firm order for 13 Airbus A321XLR narrow-body jets. The deal occasions the airline’s first business dealing with Airbus and its first acquisitions of the European OEM’s aircraft.

In addition to the 13 purchased aircraft, Icelandair intends to lease four A321LR airliners.

By dint of the Extra Long Range connoted by its XLR designation, the model will afford Icelandair opportunity to seize shares of previously inaccessible markets. The A321XLR stands, also, to reduce Icelandair’s operating costs, support its sustainability efforts, and provide the airline’s passengers the best in cabin comfort.

Icelandair CEO Bogi Nils Bogason stated: “We are very pleased to announce that we have now finalized the purchase agreement with Airbus. The efficient A321XLR aircraft will further strengthen our business model, increase our flexibility and provide opportunities for future growth, as well as further support our sustainability efforts. The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in 2029 but we plan to have four Airbus aircraft in operation before summer of 2025 and have now secured the lease of new A321LR aircraft with our long-term partner SMBC Aviation Capital Limited.”

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and head of International Christian Scherer set forth: "We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Icelandair for placing their trust and confidence in Airbus. It fills us with immense pride to welcome Icelandair as a new Airbus customer. By harnessing the exceptional performance of the A321XLR, your airline is forging a path of sustainable growth with remarkable efficiency and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.”

Officially launched at 2019’s Paris Air-Show, the A321XLR is an evolution of Airbus’s A321LR model featuring an increased Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW), a more robust undercarriage, and a maximum range of 4,700-nautical-miles—some 15-percent better than its LR forebear.

The A321XLR’s range derives of a new, permanent, 3,400-gallon Rear Centre Tank (RCT), optimized wing trailing-edge flaps, and thirty-percent lower fuel-burn per-seat than previous generation narrow-body aircraft.

The A321XLR’s flap architecture is attributable, in part, to the aircraft’s sharklets—the lackluster term by which Airbus refers to its proprietary winglet design. As subject sharklets lower the XLR model’s take-off and landing speeds, Airbus engineers determined a switch from a double-slotted to single-slotted inboard flap would reduce overall complexity, weight, and drag. The A321XLR’s Flight Management System (FMS) is capable of setting intermediate flap positions, thereby maximizing efficiency.

Airbus’s A321XLR aircraft are available with CFM LEAP-1A and Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engine options. Both powerplants produce approximately 35,000-lbf maximum thrust.

FMI: www.airbus.com

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