***Update May 26, 2023, from original article March 22, 2022: According to Executive Traveller, the new A321XLRs will have 14 private suite cabins with lie-flat beds.
Air Canada today announced an order for 26 Airbus A321neo aircraft. These aircraft are XLR (for extra-long range) and have enough range to cover the whole of North America and some transatlantic destinations.
Deliveries will start in 2025 and run through to 2027. Purchase options also include 14 additional Airbus aircraft, to be delivered between 2027 and 2030.
The A321XLR has a range of 8,700 km and a maximum flight time of 11 hours.
This aircraft will replace older, noisier and less efficient aircraft that will be phased out. This will result in operational savings for Air Canada, as well as GHG reductions.
These single-aisle Airbus aircraft will have a capacity of 182 passengers:
- 14 in Air Canada Signature Class (with fully reclining seats)
- 168 in economy class
This is less dense, given that Air Canada’s current A321s can seat up to 190 passengers (without 180-degree reclining seats).
As the aircraft will be single-aisle, the configuration of this new Signature class will be one private cabin with sliding doors on each side (1:1). The renowned firm Acumen will be in charge of the aircraft’s architecture.
The style will reflect that of Canadians, with a mix of warm colors and textures.
Please note that there will be no Premium Economy class. Passengers will have the next-generation in-seat entertainment system and Wi-Fi among other onboard amenities.
These new aircraft will be deployed in the Atlantic market. The aim is to compete with Air Transat and Air France for secondary cities (Nice, Toulouse, Porto, etc.) from Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax or Ottawa.