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Air Lease to launch longer-range A321neo

US lessor Air Lease Corporation has become the first customer to sign up for a longer-range variant of the Airbus A321neo, with a tentative deal for 30.

Chief operating officer for customers John Leahy disclosed the agreement during a briefing in Toulouse. The agreement is contained in a memorandum of understanding.

The variant, which features an increased maximum take-off weight of 97t, was formally unveiled by Airbus during 2014.

Airbus is intending to offer the type as a replacement for the Boeing 757-200, particularly on transatlantic routes.

Chief executive Fabrice Bregier, speaking at the briefing, said that the manufacturer had formally launched the new variant.

It will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G or CFM International Leap-1A engines. The airframer is intending to introduce the type in early 2019.

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