Learn More : In the early days we received A321XLR orders from Qantas, Jetstar, Aer Lingus, Iberia, Frontier, JetSMART and Wizz Air, as well as from American. Should passengers be afraid of the A321XLR?
Earlier this week, the A321XLR was launched and orders for the aircraft are still coming. This aircraft will launch in 2023 and be the farthest single-aisle aircraft in Europe with a range of 5,400 miles worldwide.
Indigo Partners Orders 50 A321XLR
Phoenix-based private equity fund Indigo Partners invests in airlines around the world. If the name sounds familiar, it's because they tried to save WOW Air a few months ago.
Indigo Partners has invested in airlines such as Frontier Airlines, JetSMART, Volaris and Wizz Air.
Indigo Partners has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to acquire 50 A321
Indigo Partners has already announced how these aircraft will be distributed to the airlines:
- Wizz Air (Hungary) will be assigned 20 A321XLRs.
- 18 A321XLRs are assigned to Frontier (USA).
- 12 A321XLRs are assigned to JetSMART (Chile).
Wizz Air receives 20 A321XLRs.
What I find interesting here is that that makes Frontier the first US airline to order the A321XLR . There were rumors that Americans were interested and that an order could be imminent, but Frontier hit them hard here.
Honestly, I'm a bit surprised because Frontier is not one of the first US airlines I would have expected to order this plane.
What could Frontier do with A321XLRs?
Frontier is an ultra-low-cost carrier based in Denver. Their fleet consists exclusively of aircraft of the Airbus A320 family. They currently have close to 90 aircraft in their fleet, with nearly 200 more ordered, split between the A320neo, A321neo and now A321XLR.
The reason why I find this move so fascinating is that Frontier serves very few international routes. The vast majority of their routes are domestic, and then there are only a very limited number of routes to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Today's CEO of Frontier has suggested some options for the aircraft:
- Frontier is currently fighting with flying in the winter from coast to coast with full payload, and the A321XLR would simplify this.
- Frontier wants to use the A321XLR to add flights to Hawaii and Alaska.
- In the future, Frontier will consider adding flights to Europe or Japan South America, or at least out of the question
Frontier gets 18 A321XLRs
Since Denver is the primary hub of Frontier, here's the approximate range Denver's A321XLR (although they could use the plane from other hubs as well)):
I find the command from Frontier interesting. At Aer Lingus, Iberia or Qantas, I can say, "Oh, the use of these planes is obvious."
It's not that easy with Frontier. It appears that Frontier uses the aircraft mainly for coast-to-coast and Hawaiian flights, both of which are within range of the A321XLR and do not fully exploit the aircraft's full potential.
Frontier is good at it I personally do not think they will use the plane for a huge expansion to South America or Europe.
Finally, there is one thing we have learned in the aviation industry Over the last few years, the extremely cheap transatlantic business model has been a challenge.
A321XLRs are selling in Orlando last night as fast as Red Hat and Mini-Constitutions. This is a plane with a real market. At this point, there is almost competition between the airlines to order the A321XLR – if airlines want to get delivery periods for this aircraft in the next decade, they have to order soon.
There is not only a real demand for the aircraft, but also competition for the protection of slots. I think the orders will go well after the Paris Air Show.
What do you think of the Indigo Partners A321XLR order?