The fifty very long-range A321neo (XLR) ordered in June 2019 (including 30 conversions) by the American company should join its fleet from 2023, and the VP network planning and schedules has confirmed their probable deployment to Europe. Asked by FlightGlobal last week, Brian Znotins said their use on the transatlantic axis « will help the United States reconnect with the rest of the world after a difficult year. » And in particular from Philadelphia Airport, where American Airlines intends to expand its network and « will add more direct routes to popular European destinations using the A321XLR. » Boston-Logan, Charlotte-Douglas and Chicago-O’Hare are also likely to serve as a base for the re-engineered single-aisle, which will have a range of 8,700 km.
From Philadelphia, American Airlines serves – excluding the Covid-19 pandemic – the airports of Amsterdam, Dublin, London-Heathrow, Madrid, Paris-CDG (where it has been back since the end of March, from New York, Chicago , Miami and Dallas), Rome, Zurich plus in high season Athens and Barcelona. If multiple A21XLRs are based there, they could also be deployed to destinations in North Africa or South America.
The Oneworld alliance company hopes to integrate eight A321XLRs into its fleet in 2023, 22 the following year and the final 20 in 2025. American Airlines has said seat density is « not its priority »; Although their configuration is not officially known (the plane has not yet taken off), we already know that flat bed seats will be offered in Business class, as well as a Premium cabin. Its current A321neo (33 delivered out of 70 expected excluding XLR) can accommodate 20 passengers in Business First class, 47 in Main Cabin Extra and 129 in Economy; and some of its A321s already have a real Premium for the transcontinental market (10 + 20 + 36 + 36).