Yesterday, Airbus’ A321LR successfully completed its maiden flight that took off from its industrial facility in Hamburg, Germany. It was part of its ongoing 100-hour flight test programme.

Airbus hopes to put the new single-aisle aircraft into service by the fourth quarter of 2018.

Klaus Roewe, head of A320 programme said: “Thanks to its outstanding performance and unbeatable efficiency, the A321LR will allow our customers to perform flights of up to 4,000nm, allowing them to open new routes – for example transatlantic – and conquer new markets.” The “LR” in A321LR stands for “Long Range”.

These routes will be the ones that don’t have a large enough demand for a long-range twin-aisle jet, yet find small single-aisle aircraft futile.

The aircraft, Airbus’ “widest Single Aisle fuselage in the sky” is powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines and can continuously fly a distance of 7,400km. It can carry up to 240 passengers at a time in a single-class layout, and 206 passengers in a two-class layout. It also has an increased Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 97 tonnes.