Introduction of the Airbus A321neo

Airbus A321neo came along almost in parallel with the A320neo. Although there is a time-lapse of almost a year, this particular variant captured the market within no time. Interestingly, it surpassed the orders of its predecessor – the A321 CEO. As a result of its design features and extraordinary fuel economy, the aircraft managed to stand at 32% of the total Airbus global market share.

Airbus A321neo - A High Revenue Potential Aircraft

The transition from A321ceo (current engine option) to A321neo(new engine option) was not too hard for Airbus since commonality remained the focus of the OEM, in particular. Virgin America officially launched the aircraft in May 2017. From the age perspective, it is almost a new member of the Airbus A320neo family.

Airbus A321neo Profile

A321neo is a short to medium-range single-aisle airliner. It originally originated from the Airbus A321. Like its predecessor, it is a stretched fuselage variant of the A320 family. Furthermore, the A320neo is powered by (PW1100G or CFM LEAP-1A) engines and a new type of wingtip device called the “Sharklets.” Both of these structural and powerplant changes have taken this aircraft to the optimum levels of fuel efficiency.

Airbus A321neo - A High Revenue Potential Aircraft
Airbus A321neo
Read more:- A320ceo vs A321neo

What was the Change?

The stretched fuselage variant has been incorporated with specific structural modifications in landing gears and wing areas (the Sharklets). With a longer and stronger wing, its wing loading has been increased by the OEM. Increased wing loading contributes to higher lift from the wing. Similarly, some minor modifications have also been done to improve the Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) compared to the A321ceo. This has been achieved through higher thrust and low carbon emission engines.

Airbus A321neo - A High Revenue Potential Aircraft
Phenomenal Key Performance Indicators of the Airbus A321neo (Data attributed to Virgin America)

Flexi Cabin (change that made the difference)

This is the most prominent change done by Airbus in the A321neo. The option of a Flexi cabin allows an airline to increase or decrease the aircraft’s seating capacity. This is normally done by permanently replacing the second door pair (right and left) in front of the wing (R2/L2) with a new second pair of over-wing exits.

Airbus A321neo - A High Revenue Potential Aircraft
Airbus Cabin-Flex Option exercised in the A321neo

The capacity of the A321neo has increased from 220 seats to 240 seats, and fuel efficiency per seat has increased by 6%. Combining this value with new engines and wing sharklets, the overall efficiency exceeds 20% in total. The older A321ceo has an exit door configuration with four exit door pairs, unlike an A321neo with the Airbus Cabin-Flex (ACF) layout. The maximum seat limit with an ACF layout could go to 250 passengers.


Due to few structural elements and improved lift and thrust performance, most of its components are the same. With the Leap-1 or Pratt & Whitney Engines, the aircraft has a range of 7400 km with 180-220 passengers on board. The flight control system is unique to the Airbus A320 series. As a result, there is a reduction in the maintenance costs for an A321neo. Similarly, there is a smooth transition in the training of aircrew and maintenance crew as well.

Environment Friendly

The A321neo has turned out to be a highly environmentally friendly commercial aircraft of its type. The CO2 emission of its engines is lesser as compared to other jet engines. They produce 50% less noise, produce 5000 tons less CO2 per aircraft, and 50% less NO2 emission in comparison. Overall, it is a major step towards a sustainable environment in the future.

Strong Revenue Potential

Airbus A321neo - A High Revenue Potential Aircraft
Business Class cabin of an A321neo

The A321neo has multiple options for configuring the generous floor space. This particular feature adds more flexibility. Thus increasing the total number of available seats.  Moreover, the aircraft has 18 inches seat width that provides a comfortable room for the passengers during their flights. In addition, the airlines can also have customized cabins that enable more efficient use of cabin space without compromising the passengers’ comfort. Overall, A321neo is a complete package in all sense. He has proven to be the most effective team player of the A320 Family during a short span of time.

Written by guest writer, Faisal Bashir

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