IndiGo plans to have a business class on Airbus A321 XLR

IndiGo could have a business class on the Airbus A321 XLR (extra long range) that begin joining its fleet from mid-2024 and will be used for nonstops with a duration of up to 7-8 hours to Europe and the Far East.

The European planemaker said in May that the launch of the A321XLR aircraft will be delayed from 2023 to 2024. So IndiGo’s XLR planes are due to come at the end of 2024.

The budget airline has always had a single class cabin, all economy. It has also shunned ovens on aircraft to keep aircraft light and save fuel while selling cold meals to passengers.

IndiGo plans to have a business class on Airbus A321 XLR

But for the long flights that the XLR would used for, the airline is drawing up a different business model. An IndiGo official said the airline is “considering a two-class configuration (business and economy) for the XLR. However, nothing has been decided yet.”

The XLR is also most likely to have ovens on board that will enable passengers to buy real hot meals.

The XLR product being designed by IndiGo is for the first budget medium-haul nonstops between India and destinations like Paris, Frankfurt, Prague, Moscow, Tokyo and Seoul — a soul preserve of full-service carriers’ (FSC) direct flights.

When it comes to Europe, IndiGo has a lot of choices with its destinations. These most popular would be London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona, and many more.

Aircraft cabin of Jet Blue’s Airbus A321LR

“If IndiGo gets it right and can offer a significant price difference (all-inclusive factoring in meals, baggage, seat selection and onboard WiFi) compared to FSCs, it could give the latter a run for their money.

It will be interesting to see how Air India, whose revamp is being planned by the Tatas, counter this move of IndiGo.

Fortunately, the Indian market is so huge that IndiGo and Air India won’t need to compete with each other but complement each other,” said an aviation industry insider.

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IndiGo currently has a fleet of 275 aircraft and all of them are narrow-body planes such as A320neos and A321neos with just economy class seats.

Ronojoy Dutta reveals the plan in the recent interview

In a recent interview, IndiGo’s outgoing CEO Ronojoy Dutta said that adding wide-body aircraft to IndiGo’s fleet is “just a matter of time” once Indian airports develop themselves into hubs, where the management of time slots for arrivals and departures of flights is much better and the time taken to transfer a passenger from an arriving flight at one terminal to a connecting flight on another terminal is extremely less.

A wide-body plane has a bigger fuel tank that allows it to operate long-haul international flights. In India, only Air India and Vistara operate wide-body planes.

Asked about the budget carrier’s plans to increase legroom on planes that operate in international sectors, Dutta said, “We are looking at the configuration of these planes and the obvious question is do we have two-class planes or not. So, we haven’t decided that.”

Proposed look pf the IndiGo’s A321XLR revealed by Airbus

Once the airline decides on that, only then it can decide how much legroom it will have in the economy class, he said.

However, he clarified, “in the back (economy class), the pitch is not going to go up too much… Maybe on some (economy class) seats it’ll go up to 33 (inches) or so”.

“But the real issue is are we going to go with a business class or not, and we haven’t decided that. But it’s increasingly looking likely that we will,” he added. Currently, the pitch of economy class seats in IndiGo’s planes is 30 inches.

Airbus is completing the construction and installation of A321XLR test equipment at the final assembly line (FAL) in Hamburg, in preparation for the model’s first flight.

IndiGo had placed an order for 300 A320neo family planes, which include A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR, with Airbus in October 2019.

ALSO READ – Upcoming Airbus A321XLR to have a shorter flight time due to potential fire concerns

ALSO READ – A321 XLR to start test flights soon | Completes final structural assembly

Airbus is completing the construction and installation of A321XLR test equipment at the final assembly line (FAL) in Hamburg, in preparation for the model’s first flight. According to the manufacturer, the first unit of the type (MSN11000) will be delivered to the test team in a very short time.

In parallel to this, the European giant is conducting ground tests to be ready for the start of the flight test and certification programs.

The A321XLR was launched at the Paris Airshow in 2019, and by the end of February 2022, Airbus had amassed 515 orders from 25 customers for the type.

Launched in 2019, the upcoming A321XLR from European aerospace manufacturer Airbus is a real gamechanger for the aviation industry.

With a range of 4,700 NM and 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation aircraft, it will expand the possibilities of the narrowbody for airlines and bring in a new era for passengers.

Seldom has there been so much anticipation ahead of the introduction of a new variant of a previously existing model. And indeed, there are many exciting things worth knowing about this new aircraft. Here are some of the most significant to get you started.

Many airlines have also switched existing A320neo family orders to the new A321XLR model.

The A321XLR was launched at the Paris Airshow in 2019, and by the end of February 2022, Airbus had amassed 515 orders from 25 customers for the type.

It is worth noting that these were not all new aircraft orders. Many airlines have also switched existing A320neo family orders to the new A321XLR model.

One of the latest carriers to confirm order was Air Canada, adding six to an additional 20 it is acquiring through lessors for a future fleet of 26 A321XLRs.

All-Airbus low-cost giant IndiGo will, for the moment, be the largest operator of this aircraft.

As confirmed in a recent earnings call, India’s all-Airbus low-cost giant IndiGo will, for the moment, be the largest operator of this aircraft.

Placed as part of a 300 plane order in 2019, the airline originally planned for around 37 of the type. However, recent figures have revealed a much larger fleet, totalling 69 in all, is destined for the Indian airline.

Both American Airlines and United Airlines have orders for 50 A321XLR aircraft. For American Airlines, 30 of these orders were conversions from existing A321neo orders, and 20 were new orders.

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