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PARIS: Four firm MEA A321neos will be new XLR version

Lebanese flag-carrier Middle East Airlines is to convert four Airbus A321neo orders into the newly-launched extra-long range A321XLR.

MEA emerged as the customer for four additional firm A321neos earlier this year, adding to 11 of the type it had held on order since the end of 2017.

Airbus has disclosed that these four aircraft will be delivered as the new A321XLR variant, making the carrier a launch customer for the twinjet.

MEA will start taking delivery of the 15 A321neos in 2020.

The carrier will use the XLR version to "strengthen its network" in Africa and Asia, says the airframer.

Airbus unveiled the A321XLR at the Paris air show. The aircraft will have a range of 4,700nm and become available from 2023.

MEA is also a customer for the re-engined A330neo, with four A330-900s on order.

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