This Wednesday, Airbus staged the maiden flight of its newest and largest narrowbody airliner, the A321XLR (Extra Long Range), as the planemaker aims to capitalize on demand for long-range single-aisle jets. The aircraft’s entry into service is targeted for early 2024.
The aircraft took off from Hamburg, Germany, and the test flight lasted about four hours and 35 minutes. “This is a major milestone for the A320 Family and its customers worldwide. With the A321XLR coming into service, airlines will be able to offer long-haul comfort on a single aisle aircraft, thanks to its unique Airspace cabin. The A321XLR will open new routes with unbeatable economics and environmental performance,” said Philippe Mhun, Executive Vice President of Programs and Services, Airbus.
Buckle up! This is the Week in Aerospace!
Flights Cancelled in Italy due to Air Traffic Controllers Strike
Air traffic controllers went on strike in Italy. Unions also called out workers from low-cost airlines on four-hour stoppages, prompting the cancellation of over 360 flights and affecting more than 4,000 passengers in the EU, as reported by Reuters.
Global Airline Capacity Still on the Rise: OAG
A recent OAG report says that the 100 million weekly seats mark could be surpassed by mid-July 2022, despite ongoing challenges across the world. This week, a million seats in airline capacity were added to schedules as China eased some travel restrictions again. The current offer stands at 96.6 million seats, 17 percent less than 2019’s levels and 36 percent more than 2020’s.
Air Cargo Boosts Airports in Latin America
Air cargo levels in Latin America will continue growing due to the e-commerce boom across the region, foresees The Airports Council International, Latin America & Caribbean (ACI-LAC).
“Although there is talk of the impact of drone transport, we are not talking about large volumes. Traditional air cargo will continue to be important and increasingly so. There are many projects that are being carried out throughout the region,” said to A21 Rafael Echevarne, Director, ACI-LAC.
Argentina Detains Venezuelan Cargo Jet with Iranian Crewmembers
A Venezuelan-owned Boeing 747 cargo plane has been stuck since June 6 at Buenos Aires’ main airport due to suspicions about its crew and US sanctions against Iran. The jet landed in Queretaro on June 4.
The plane carries automotive parts and an “unusually large” crew of 17, including at least five Iranians. Argentina’s Minister of Security Aníbal Fernández said to AP that the government and legal authorities are studying the situation: “[Foreign intelligence agencies] advised that part of the crew belonged to companies related to the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard of Iran,” which was listed as a terrorist organization by the US government since 2007.