Air Canada announced it is acquiring 26 extra-long range (XLR) versions of the Airbus A321neo aircraft. The aircraft has sufficient range to serve all North American and select transatlantic markets, while offering customers added comfort and improving the carrier’s fuel efficiency to advance its environmental programs.
Deliveries are to begin in the first quarter of 2024 with the final aircraft to arrive in the first quarter of 2027. Fifteen of the aircraft will be leased from Air Lease Corporation, five will be leased from AerCap and six are being acquired under a purchase agreement with Airbus S.A.S. that includes purchase rights to acquire an additional 14 of the aircraft between 2027 and 2030.
Air Canada’s A321XLRs will accommodate 182 passengers in a configuration of 14 lie flat Air Canada Signature Class seats and 168 Economy Class seats. Among the aircraft’s amenities, customers will enjoy next generation seatback entertainment, access to inflight Wifi and a spacious cabin design featuring generous overhead baggage storage bins. With a range of approximately 8,700 kilometres and an ability to fly up to 11 hours, the A321XLR can operate non-stop anywhere across North America and, pending Transport Canada approval for overseas operations, also fly transatlantic missions, bolstering the carrier’s hubs and network. Air Canada is in the process of selecting an engine manufacturer for its A321XLR aircraft.