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Airbus unveils design for world's 'longest range' narrow-body plane

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Airbus has annouced a 100 new orders and unveiled a new airliner at the Paris Air Show while Boeing is sidetracked dealing with the grounding of their 737 Max jets. CNN's Melissa Bell reports.

Posted: Jun 18, 2019 12:30 PM
Updated: Jun 18, 2019 12:30 PM

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has unveiled designs for the A321XLR -- an aircraft it claims will be the world's "longest range single-aisle airliner."

The airliner, set to be rolled out in 2023, has an "unprecedented" long range of up to 4,700 nm (nautical miles), Airbus said. The ability of a lower cost single-aisle craft to travel such distances will allow operators to open new long haul services, particularly on less heavily traveled routes such as India to Europe or China to Australia, according to the manufacturer.

The new model has 15% more range than its predecessor, the A321LR -- paving the way the way for direct transatlantic flights between continental Europe and the Americas.

The plane also comes with features that Airbus hopes will improve its "environmental performance." The manufacturer claims that it will have 20% lower fuel burn per seat, and will produce 5,000 tonnes less CO2 per year. Airbus also says that the aircraft has a noise footprint that is 50% lower for passengers and airports.

The state-of-the-art plane, 44.51 meters in length, will be able to seat between 180 and 220 passengers if operators choose to seat passengers in traditional two class seating.

Other changes to the aircraft include a new permanent rear center tank for more fuel volume and a modified landing gear for an increased maximum take-off weight of 101 metric tonnes.

"We're giving the market what it's asking for... the A321XLR is the longest range single aisle aircraft -- available now," said Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, in a written statement to CNN.

According to Airbus, the A320neo Family is the world's best-selling single aisle aircraft with over 6,500 orders from more than 100 customers since its launch in 2010.

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