Air Canada to buy 26 XLR Airbus A321neos with option for 14 more

Air Canada will replace older and less fuel-efficient aircraft with the newly ordered A321XLR ©Airbus

Air Canada has announced it has agreed to buy 26 of the extra-long-range (XLR) Airbus A321neos with deliveries to run between Q1 2024 and Q1 2027. The Canadian flag carrying airline has included an option for an additional 14 of the XLR variant which, if exercised, will be delivered between 2027 and 2030.

The increased range of the new aircraft to 8,700 km will enable Air Canada to cover all of North America and certain transatlantic routes, subject to obtaining approval for overseas operations from Transport Canada. 15 of the jets will be leased from Air Lease Corporation, five leased from Aercap, while six will be purchased under an agreement with Airbus S.A.S.

While increasing the size of Air Canada’s fleet of aircraft, several of the new planes will replace older, less fuel-efficient aircraft, providing both cost savings and environmental benefits. Air Canada projects it will have up to 17% lower fuel burn per seat than the previous-generation narrow-body on a typical transcontinental flight and a projected reduction of up to 23% when compared to previous-generation wide-body aircraft on a transatlantic flight.

“Air Canada is committed to further strengthen its market-leading position, especially through investments in new technology. The acquisition of the state-of-the-art Airbus A321XLR is an important element of this strategy and will drive our core priorities of elevating the customer experience, advancing our environmental goals, network expansion and increasing our overall cost efficiency,” said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada. The carrier is yet to make a decision on the engines which will power its new A321neos.

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