by Fouad Attar
As of 27 April, there are 27 A321neo in service with 13 operators. The A321neo is a true market leader capturing 80% of the market. The A321neo Long Range, or A321LR as we call it, is key to the success of this aircraft type. The A321LR has increased Max Take-Off Weight and increased fuel capacity to enable it to fly 206 passengers over 4,000nm. That is a game changing aircraft for airlines in the Middle East who can soon connect Europe, Africa and Asia using a single-aisle aircraft and equally a game changing aircraft for airlines in North Africa who can fly trans-Atlantic. We were very excited to welcome the A321LR to Sharjah end of March as it continues on its Flight Test Programme before entering service later this year.
I was very pleased earlier this month to attend the Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition in Cairo. Africa has always been an important market for Airbus and over the next 20 years we forecast the need for over 1,000 new aircraft. The Airbus product line offers the most modern and efficient family of aircraft for the growing African demand. This month we delivered the 8th A350 XWB to Ethiopian Airlines; their fleet size will grow to 24 aircraft in total. Early next year we look forward to delivering the A330neo to Air Senegal and we also look forward to a growing A320 fleet in Africa supported by A320neo deliveries over the coming years starting with Jazeera Airways-which will be the first A320neo operator in this region, in addition to Nile Air, Tunisair, Egyptair and Air Cote d’Ivoire.