Qatar Airways has upgraded part of an order for Airbus A321neos to the longer range A321LR.
The 50-plane order for A321neos was made in 2017, when the airline upgraded a previous order for A320neos. The A321neo order was worth USD$6.35 billion at list prices.
Now Qatar has upgraded part of the order again to the longer range A321LR, which has a range of up to 4,000 nm (7,400 km), in contrast to the A321neo’s 3,200 nm (5,900 km).
Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said the airline had reassessed its fleet requirements, and the A321LR “will bring the additional capability and range to our existing portfolio of aircraft types that we require to successfully support our global route expansion.”
The A321LR has structural reinforcements to allow a higher maximum take-off weight and the option of a third fuel tank in the cargo compartment for extra range. It can carry 206 passengers in a two-class layout, or up to 244 passengers in a single-class configuration.
Qatar Airways said it will use the A321LRs to connect its home base Doha with destinations where demand is not high enough for its wide body fleet or where current narrow bodies don’t have sufficient range. They may also be used to add capacity on existing routes.
The A321neos are due for delivery from 2019, and the A321LRs from 2020.