Comlux, the business aviation services company, is offering A321 operators an Airbus-approved additional fuel tank installation it says will typically add 300nm (556km) to the narrowbody's range.

The Swiss-based firm - which is also pitching the modification on the corporate jet variant of the A321 - will carry out the work at its Indianapolis completion centre. If there is sufficient take-up, Comlux will consider offering it at a larger US site and also at a facility in Europe, says president Richard Gaona.

Comlux, which announced the programme at the Middle East Business Aviation show on 6 December, says the Supplemental Type Certificate installation is compatible with the 40% of A321s that already have two additional centre tanks or ACTs, although it could be adaptable for aircraft with just one ACT.

Each installation will take four to six weeks and Comlux has signed an agreement with an undisclosed ACJ321 customer to deliver the first aircraft to be fitted with the new auxiliary tank in the third quarter of next year.

Gaona says there is a market for 250 modifications, with “99%” of these on commercial airliners.

He adds that although Airbus has provided technical detail and expertise, the programme is a Comlux initiative. “We are providing the service and taking the risk,” he says.

While Comlux's STC applies only to current generation A321s, Airbus is offering its own extended-range version of the A321neo, the A321LR, which it is marketing as a replacement for the Boeing 757 on longer, thin routes.

The variant, which Airbus intends to be delivering from 2019 and which has a range of around 4,000nm, has already secured a commitment from Norwegian, which has converted 30 previously-ordered A320neos. The Scandinavian airline will fly the jets on transatlantic routes.

Source: Cirium Dashboard