Aer Lingus tipped as first A321XLR operator in 2024

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When the A321XLR was first launched in 2019 at the Paris Air Show, Airbus announced a deal for four aircraft from Beirut’s Middle East Airlines (MEA) “making it the launch airline customer” for the airframer’s longest-range single-aisle. Increasingly, however, a series of public comments by International Airlines Consolidated Group (IAG) point to Aer Lingus as now taking the lead for being first to deploy the aircraft.

Related: In Hamburg, Airbus passes last embers of A380 torch to A321XLR

At its Nov. 21 capital markets day, IAG — parent company of Aer Lingus, Iberia, British Airways, Vueling and Level — included a slide with a bullet point labeled “First to Fly A321 XLR from Q4-2024.” Airbus has said it is planning for certification of the aircraft in the second quarter of 2024.

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