Browsing Tag: A321

Istanbul-Ataturk Airport is Turkish Airlines' home base.

Istanbul-Ataturk Airport is Turkish Airlines’ home base

As part of our honeymoon trip, we managed to stretch one award ticket into eight segments around Europe. It took some research, but if you know the rules, you can push the limits and get the most value for your hard-earned miles and points.

This flight from Istanbul (IST) to Vienna (VIE) was the first leg of our European tour. We had previously flown from San Francisco via Paris on Air France, connecting to a regional Air France flight to Istanbul.  After spending a whopping one night in Istanbul, it was time to head out for the next leg of our whirlwind journey on a Turkish Airlines Airbus A321.

An American Airlines A321-231 on final at LAX. AA could be a potential customer for the new A321 variant. Photo - Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

American A321 on final at LAX. AA could be a potential customer for the new variant – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Airbus has done what analysts have been expecting for the past few months; announce a version of the A321 with the ability to fly a greatly extended range and finally match (and exceed) the capabilities of a Boeing 757-200 with winglets.

The 97-ton maximum weight will be achieved by the addition of a fuel tank in the forward baggage compartment and some fairly low-cost reengineering of the wing. Air Lease Corporation is the launch customer, with a memorandum of understanding for thirty frames. They have not, yet, stated where these aircraft will be placed.

To achieve a 4000-nm range, Airbus has envisioned a configuration carrying 206 passengers (16J and 190Y). They have also stated that, due to the extra fuel tank and limitations of the design, it is unlikely for this aircraft to be able to carry much cargo. This may, immediately, appear as a source of consternation if your airline relies on flying long sorties on narrow-bodies full of fresh fish. Otherwise, is it really a big deal? I would say no.

gathered at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on 25 September 2014 to witness the historic first NEO flight - Photo: Airbus

People gathered at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport on 25 September 2014 to witness the historic first “neo” flight – Photo: Airbus

Recently, Leeham News broke news to the world that Airbus is offering a new variant of the A321neo.  This aircraft, dubbed the A321neoLR (rolls right off the tongue, right?) is set to extend the range of the aircraft an additional 400-500 nautical miles (nm) over the standard A321neo (now slated to be around the 4,000 nm mark).  Airbus has confirmed the aircraft, according to Leeham, and they say that it will have a 100 nm range advantage over the 757-200W, the variant used primarily for trans-Atlantic flights.

Is this new aircraft the death knell finally for the 757?

Alaska Airlines first Boeing 737-900ER (N402AS) is seen at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Image from Alaska Airlines.

The 737-900ER is a popular choice as a longer-range aircraft to replace older 757s, but is it the right fit?  Photo: Alaska Airlines

We have looked multiple times at the differences between the 757 & the A321.  The two aircraft have always gone back and forth as apparent direct competitors and even the new 737-900ER, which seem to be extremely popular with airlines like Delta, Alaska or the Lion Air Group from Indonesia, can’t seem to replace the 757.

What keeps Boeing from producing a new aircraft to properly replace the 757?

Feature

Throughout its fifteen year history, JetBlue Airways has worked hard to be the blue-collar airline with an upscale image. With popular features such as DirecTV and SiriusXM entertainment at every seat, the most legroom in coach of any US-based airline, and, most recently FlyFi wireless onboard internet connectivity, the airline has put the passenger experience at the forefront.

Now, the airline is poised to launch the next generation of its onboard product. Dubbed “Mint”, the service will initially be offered exclusively on its route between New York and Los Angeles, with flights to San Fransisco set to follow later this year. I recently had the chance to preview the new product at JFK and wanted to share what I discorvered.

The new Mint Experience is a wholesale, multi-faceted upgrade of the traditional JetBlue product. Offered exclusively on a subfleet of the carrier’s Airbus A321 aircraft, Mint provides a true premium product to compete with the other four carriers flying in the transcontinental market. The most noticeable change onboard is to the seat.