An Airbus A321LR test aircraft flew from Toulouse to Malé in the Indian Ocean and back, this week, equipped with a full simulated passenger load. The distance 4,750 miles; 750 miles further than designed, with all tanks, including the 3 centre tanks that provide so much of the extended range, full.
The aircraft was put through a simulated in-service flight in terms of weight and flight profile.
Airbus were unsurprisingly delighted with the range result as even with a margin reduction it gives an A321LR an exceptional radius of operations, that places destinations as far as Denver and even Vancouver in range of Heathrow and Dublin, and the entire US West Coast falls inside the range of Icelandic carriers.
Conversely it also places all of Western Europe in range of New York, sufficiently so as to potentially attract airlines such as JetBlue who’ve made no secret of a desire to use a Mint style service, if the right aircraft and economics come along.