LONDON – Yesterday, Air Lease Corporation (ALC) announced that it would be placing five Airbus A321XLR aircraft with LATAM Airlines.
These aircraft are set to be delivered between 2025 and 2026 through the orderbook already established between ALC and Airbus themselves.
Commenting on this milestone was Steven Udvar-Hazy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation:
“We are pleased to announce this lease placement for five new long-range Airbus A321-200 XLRs with our airline customer based in Chile, LATAM Airlines, and be the first to introduce the XLR to the airline”.
“As the largest South American carrier, LATAM is continuing its fleet modernization program, adding the most advanced technology aircraft to enhance efficiency and passenger experience.”
“These five new ALC A321XLR jets will optimize and grow the airline’s expanding international route network.”
This announcement concludes the second half of an arrangement made at the Farnborough Air Show back in July regarding an order made by LATAM Airlines.
LATAM Airlines signed an agreement to take 17 A321neos, as well as placing commitments to the A321XLR, although no number was confirmed for that at the time.
This new order brings LATAM’s orderbook to 100 A320neo Family aircraft.
“We applaud LATAM’s strategic vision and sustainability ambition. This order for the A321neo on the heels of its restructuring is a strong sign of the value Airbus brings to making this vision and ambition a reality”, said Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International.
“The A321XLR will enable the opening of new routes and will allow LATAM to increase its international reach in the region”.
No other announcement has been made by LATAM reflecting a direct order, meaning that it is more than likely related to Air Lease Corporation’s announcement yesterday.
By the end of June 2022, the A320neo Family had won more than 8,100 orders from over 130 customers, of which nearly 550 have been for the A321XLR.
What Routes Will LATAM Operate With These Aircraft?
It is too early to tell what routes LATAM will use these aircraft for, but based on the carrier’s geography, there are quite a few options in terms of where they could go with the aircraft.
They could head north to the U.S or Canada, or they could head East to some popular destinations within Africa or Europe.
It ultimately depends on which markets the carrier aims to penetrate with these aircraft and whether it is going to give the sufficient return on investment that they are looking for.
This will definitely be something to look out for in the future.
It remains clear that this placement by ALC to LATAM will be one to look out for. Five units do appear to be a tester for the South American carrier to see whether it will have any success or not.
If it is as successful as they want it to be, then this could form the foundation of further acquisitions down the line, which would be an exciting element for the carrier.
But for now, all we can do is wait a couple of years to see where they aim to serve with these aircraft and whether it will be successful or not.