Just as it had anticipated by the time it received its first A321LR, TAP will put the long-range version of the Airbus jet on flights to Brazil. Antonoaldo Neves, president of the Portuguese airline, said in April that “In Brazil, the A321LR can open new markets in the Northeast and complement existing services for cities such as Recife, Natal, Fortaleza or Salvador.”
However, the Brazilian city in which the A321LR should debut is Belém. The capital of the state of Pará is now serviced by a widebody A330-200 four times a week that should be replaced by the A321LR from October 29, according to the scheduled flight records of ANAC, the country’s civil aviation agency.
TAP will fly three times a week with single aisle jet and 171 seats on each flight – 16 in business class, 48 in premium economy and 107 economy. The new aircraft already flies to destinations such as Tel Aviv and New York and should have expanded its presence to the Northeast region of Brazil, where its range of 7,400 km allows non-stop flights.
Currently, TAP has only two A321neo LR, in addition to six A321neo, but by October the fleet of the version is expected to grow to four units. There is a third plane at the end of assembly and a fourth one also in production today. The company has a total order of 14 A321LR and should be one of the next customers of the XLR variant, with even greater reach.
In June, Antonoaldo admitted that the company can convert part of this order to the ultra-long-range version. However, as it will enter service only in 2023 and deliveries of the A321LR are expected to close in 2021, which would cause the Portuguese company to postpone part of that aircraft.