The Norwegian Group has converted an earlier order with Airbus to acquire 30 A321LR long-range narrowbodies, the carrier announced July 14. Norwegian will be the first low-cost carrier to operate the A321LRwhen it enters service in 2019.
In 2012, Norwegian signed an order with Airbus for 100 A320neos. The carrier’s asset company—Arctic Aviation Assets, of Dublin—has converted 30 A320neos to the same number of A321LRs, according to the latest announcement. The agreement calls for eight of the aircraft to be delivered in 2019, with the remaining 22 over the next two years.
The A321LR is the latest member of Airbus’s A320neo series and competes with Boeing’s 737 Max 9. Norwegian will configure the aircraft for a single-class cabin, with seating for about 220 passengers. With a range of up to 4,000 nm, the A321LR will be capable of flying routes between the U.S. east coast and Europe, between Scandinavia and parts of Asia, as well as South America and Europe, the carrier said.
“The new medium-range aircraft available from 2019 fits really well with our global expansion plans and future long-haul network, both in terms of size, range and fuel efficiency,” said Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos. “With this order we will have a significant cost advantage and increased competitiveness, which means that we can offer our customers low prices on board brand-new aircraft to a wide range of new destinations.”
Also on July 14 at the Farnborough Airshow, Airbus announced that Aviation Lease and Finance Company (Alafco) of Kuwait has “upsized” an order for 10 A320neos to A321neos. The agreement stems from a 2012 order for 85 A320neos.
“This upsizing from A320s to A321neos confirms the market trend for larger aircraft,” said John Leahy, Airbus COOfor customers. “The A321neo…is the ideal middle-of-the market aircraft.” Througout the show, Airbus took in $35 billion in business, totaling 279 single-aisle and widebody aircraft. That includes firm orders for 197 aircraft ($26.3 billion) and “commitments” for 82 more, valued at $8.7 billion.