The A321XLR should only enter service in the 2nd quarter of 2024, admitted Airbus on Thursday, during the release of financial results for the last nine months.
The ultra-long-range single-aisle aircraft was supposed to have its first unit delivered in 2023, but in May the planemaker announced the first delay, to early 2024, due to certification requirements from EASA, the European civil aviation authority.
The new date of entry into service was deemed by Airbus to be “more accurate” now that there are three test aircraft in flight.
“All three test A321XLRs have now flown, with the aircraft’s entry-into-service expected to take place in Q2 2024,” an Airbus statement said.
The European manufacturer also maintained the goal of producing 65 A320neo family aircraft per month and raising the monthly rate to 75 in 2025.
Airbus also said that all A320 assembly lines will be capable of producing the A321, the aircraft that has garnered the most orders in recent years, including Toulouse, where the single-aisle jet will be assembled on the former A380 assembly line.
Until September, the A320 program had 16,631 firm orders, between the first and second generation, with more than 10,700 aircraft already delivered.