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PARIS: LATAM not interested in A321XLR

LATAM Airlines Group does not plan to join the Airbus A321XLR customer list anytime soon.

The Santiago de Chile-based carrier is not interested in the aircraft "for the time being", chief financial officer Ramiro Alfonsin told FlightGlobal at the Paris air show.

LATAM has discussed the A321XLR with Airbus, as it does all aircraft, he adds.

The airframer launched the long-range narrowbody at the show on 17 June, touting its ability to fly up to 4,700nm or, as an example, between New York and Rio de Janeiro.

Air Lease, Cebu Pacific, Middle East Airlines and Saudia have ordered the aircraft. Deliveries are scheduled to begin 2023.

Cirium's Fleets Analyzer shows LATAM to be the second-largest operator between North and South America. With the A321XLR, the airline could connect smaller North American cities with its hubs in Lima, Santiago and Sao Paulo, as well as large operations at other airports in the region.

Connecting smaller markets could be of particular interest to LATAM if it gets the green light for its proposed joint venture with American Airlines, which is pending with regulators in the USA and the court in Chile.

In their antitrust application with the US Department of Transportation, American and LATAM said they would add new routes in the market if the pact was approved. These potentially include Miami to Belo Horizonte and Recife in Brazil, and Sao Paulo Guarulhos to Austin and San Jose, California.

All of those routes, save San Paulo-San Jose, are within the range of the A321XLR but not the A321neo that both American and LATAM either operate or have ordered.

American is reportedly interested in the A321XLR as a replacement for its Boeing 757 fleet, for which it has searching for a replacement.

LATAM has orders for 27 A320neos and 19 A321neos, Cirium's Fleets Analyzer shows. Its narrowbody fleet consists of 46 A319s, 126 A320s, eight A320neos and 49 A321s.

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