Airbus says it could deliver an extended-range “A321XLR” derivative within five years, but is yet to formally confirm the status of the project.

Speaking at the IATA AGM in Seoul, Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer hinted at plans for “extended-range versions [plural]” of the A321 in its single-aisle line-up.

Asked when such a derivative could be available for delivery, he said: “The earliest you can expect any new versions of an A321 with some serious work done on it would be the 2023-24 timeframe.”

Airbus is widely expected to announce the go-ahead for the extended range version of the A321LR at this month’s Paris air show, backed by commitments from customers.

The XLR variant is believed to incorporate wing and weight upgrades to enable it carry around 220 passengers over 4,000nm (7,410km). It may also feature a revised cockpit incorporating the latest technology from the A350.