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PARIS: Iberia and Aer Lingus opt for A321XLRs

Spanish carrier Iberia and Ireland's Aer Lingus have become the latest operators to commit to the long-range Airbus A321XLR, with a combined agreement for up to 28.

Parent company IAG says the deal features 14 firm aircraft – eight for Iberia and six for Aer Lingus – plus 14 options.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2023. The company puts the list price of the XLR at $142 million.

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Each aircraft will be fitted with a two-class layout including full-flat seats in the business cabin.

"They will also feature the same gate-to-gate inflight entertainment, internet connectivity and ambient lighting as new generation long-haul aircraft," adds IAG.

The twinjets will allow Aer Lingus – already a long-range A321LR customer, with deliveries taking place this year – to operate new transatlantic services beyond the US east coast.

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Iberia will also be able to enhance its transatlantic network, says IAG.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh says the XLR has the "same unit cost as a widebody long-haul aircraft", which will support profitable expansion.

No engine selection has been disclosed but both Iberia and Aer Lingus are strong CFM International customers, having opted for the Leap-1A engine for A320neo-family orders.

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