Azores Airlines, the Azores archipelago-based carrier, has taken delivery of its first of three Airbus A321LRs to be leased from Air Lease Corporation, becoming the latest operator of the long-range single-aisle aircraft.
Powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines, the Azores Airlines’ A321LR comprises 190 seats in a two-class configuration (16 Business class seats and 174 seats in Economy) offering premium wide-body comfort in a single-aisle aircraft cabin and with single-aisle operating costs. With this new A321LR, the Portuguese operator will continue its strategy of growth and network expansion to European destinations as well as transatlantic routes between the Azores and North America.
The A321LR is a long-range (LR) version of the best-selling A320neo Family and provides airlines with the flexibility to fly long-range operations of up to 4,000 nm (7,400 km) and to tap into new long-haul markets, which were not previously accessible with single-aisle aircraft.
The A321LR will join the Azores Airlines’ Airbus fleet of five single-aisle aircraft comprising three A320ceo and two A321neo jetliners in service since last year. This new member of the fleet will provide Azores Airlines with more operational flexibility while leveraging on aircraft commonality.
Air Lease Corporation (ALC) on December 14, 2017 announced that Azores Airlines-SATA International (Portugal) received its first new Airbus A321neo aircraft. This aircraft is the first of six CFM Leap 1A engine-powered A321neos to be delivered to Azores Airlines from ALC’s order book with Airbus. The next five A321neos will deliver between now and early 2021.
The pictured Airbus A321-253N D-AVYI became CS-TSF (msn 7972) on the handover. The airliner is painted in a special “Breathe” livery.
The airline, fully owned by SATA (Sociedade Açoreana de Transportes Aéreos) becomes the first Portuguese operator to receive a member of the A320neo Family. By way of an extensive transatlantic network, these aircraft will connect Portugal and Azores to cities in the United States and Canada, in addition to major Western European cities.
The six new ALC A321neo aircraft will progressively replace Azores’ aging Airbus A310s on routes from Azores to the USA and Canada as well as on the airline’s high frequency network to Portugal and Western Europe.
Azores Airlines, which is fully owned by Sociedade Açoreana de Transportes Aéreos (SATA), is modernizing its short-haul and trans-Atlantic fleet with the Airbus A321neo and by 2019 with the longer range A321LR. The decision follows a growth strategy to expand into new trans-Atlantic routes.
Azores Airlines (SATA) has been an Airbus customer since 1999 operating seven A310, A320 and A330 Airbus aircrafts across Europe, Canada and North America.
According to Airbus, The A321LR, the latest member of the market leading A320neo Family, will be able to fly longer routes of up to 4,000 nm. The A321LR will provide additional flexibility as it will have the longest range of any single aisle airliner, making it ideally suited to transatlantic routes and enable airlines to tap into new long haul markets which were not previously accessible with current single aisle aircraft. First deliveries will start in 2019.