NEW AIRBUS CHOICE BY QATAR AIRWAYS OPENS LONG HAUL ROUTES WITH SINGLE AISLE PLANES
(Posted 31st January 2019)
Qatar Airways has confirmed that they converted at least 10 of an order of 50 Airbus A321Neo to the larger version of the A321LR, which has a range of 4.000 nautical miles or can fly the equivalent of 7.400 kilometres.
The single aisle aicraft, when delivered, will feature the usual Business / Economy cabin layout with up to 206 passengers.
The switch was largely prompted by Qatar Airways’s desire to stick to the Airbus A320 family aircraft, which forms the backbone of its narrow body fleet besides the need to fly longer distances, for instance into Southern Africa, presently not possible due to the lower range of the A320’s deployed into the African continent.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We have reassessed the requirements of our fleet and determined that 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. Based on this analysis we have agreed with Airbus that we will convert 10 of our 50 A321neo on order to the longer range A321LR, the first of which will be delivered in 2020.”
Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Christian Scherer, said: “The A321LR will add a new level of flexibility to Qatar Airways’ operations. The aircraft will support the airline to better serve its existing network while equally accessing new long-haul markets with optimal performance and efficiency. Offering superior wide body comfort on single aisle, the A321LR will perfectly match Qatar Airways’ award-winning on-board experience. We look forward to seeing the A321LR flying in the colours of Qatar Airways.”
This aircraft is improved with a maximum take-off weight of 97 tonnes compared to 93.5 tonnes for a standard A321neo, with structural reinforcements at the wing and centre wing box, and the option of adding a third fuel tank in the cargo compartment, depending on the needs of the operator. This aircraft is also characterised by its passenger comfort, its significant endurance, its cabin layout adaptability, its per-seat operational costs, which are 30 per cent lower than those of the nearest competitor, and all this with excellent environmental performance.
Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft to a network of around 160 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. In Eastern Africa does the airline fly daily from Doha to Entebbe, and then on to Kigali, while serving Nairobi three times a day. Mombasa welcomes four flights a week since last December. In Tanzania does Qatar Airways fly to Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
The multiple-award-winning airline was named ‘World’s Best Business Class’ by the 2018 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Business Class Seat’, ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, and ‘World’s Best First-Class Airline Lounge’.