Saudi Arabian budget airline Flynas signed a preliminary order with Airbus for 10 long-range A321 aircraft, the A321XLR, as it seeks to expand its route network.
As part of the deal, the low-cost carrier also agreed to upgrade a previous order for 10 A320neo jets to the A321neo, it said on Thursday.
The A321 is a member of the Airbus A320 family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, twin-engine jets, while the A321XLR is a long-range single aisle designed to carry passengers longer-haul routes at a lower cost.
Flynas, which is partly owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding, operates a fleet of 30 A320ceos and 2 A320neos. Since 2007, it has embarked on a strategy to expand its network and passenger capacity and service more long-haul destinations.
“The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step from the A321LR, which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines,” Flynas’ statement said.
From 2023, the A321XLR will deliver an extra-long range of up to 4,700 nautical miles – 15 per cent more than the A321LR and with 30 per cent lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation competitor aircraft, Airbus said this month.
Airbus has not provided a list price for the A321XLR. However, the list price of the baseline A321 is $129.5 million.
This will enable operators to open new international routes to India, Europe China and Australia, as well as extending the Airbus family’s non-stop reach on direct transatlantic flights between continental Europe and the Americas.
In 2018, Flynas carried around 6.6 million passengers on 60,000 domestic and international flights.
“The A321XLR’s new airspace cabin will provide the best travel experience, while offering seats in all classes with the same high-comfort as on a long-haul wide-body, with the low costs of a single-aisle aircraft,” Flynas said.