Airbus hands over first customer A321LR to Arkia

Arkia has taken delivery of the first customer Airbus A321LR during a delivery ceremony at Airbus’ Hamburg assembly and delivery facility.

The aircraft, registered 4X-AGH, is fitted with 220 seats with a 31 inch pitch. Arkia opted for greater galley space to provide better service during flights. Product marketing director, Franck Navallon, said the airline is enjoying the large amount of flexibility that comes with the cabin offering. Two CFM LEAP engines power the aircraft.

Within the cabin lies Wi-Fi capability for all passengers, universal power outlets at every seat and USB charging.

Although the A321LR has an advertised range of 4000 nautical miles with 206 passengers, Arkia’s higher payload means the range for their A321LR sits at 3300 nautical miles, which is still sufficient to reach destinations such as Zanzibar, Paris and southern India.

Compared to the Boeing 757, Arkia outlines a 30% reduction in fuel burn per seat and a 31% cash operating cost saving per seat. Airbus does hope the A321LR will take on the position left by departing Boeing 757s worldwide and the rumored Boeing 797. Should they need to step in further, development studies are in place for an A321 with more range than the A321LR, currently dubbed the A321XLR by many outlets focusing on Airbus’ movement.

Primera Air was originally lined up to take the first A321LR but was quickly changed to Arkia when the airline collapsed. Although Arkia only has orders for two of the type, 10 other airlines have disclosed their orders, including Air Astana, Aer Lingus, Air Arabia, TAP Portugal, Nowegian, Peach and Azores Airlines.

Additionally, Arkia expects to introduce the A330-900neo and the A321neo, with the delivery of the A330-900 to be confirmed.

Photos of interior and delivery ceremony will be added shortly

In the making video by Airbus: