The Airbus A321XLR, the newest aircraft by the European manufacturer, has begun its maiden flight.
The aircraft took off on June 15, 2022, at 10:04 UTC from Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport (XFW). After flying southwest for some time, it took course towards the North Sea, according to Flightradar24 data.
“Fantastic day as our #A321XLR takes to the air for the first time – congratulations #TeamAirbus!” Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury tweeted as the aircraft took off.
The aircraft is the latest addition to the Airbus A320 family, and the manufacturer’s newest aircraft.
Based on the Airbus A321neo, it is expected to become the longest-range narrow-body aircraft in history, with a range of up to 4,700 nautical miles (8,700 kilometers) and a capacity of up to 220 passengers.
The aircraft enjoyed massive success following its launch in 2019, gathering more than 450 orders in the first year alone.
Hailed as a modern take on the middle-of-the-market airliner, the A321XLR is poised to replace the largely obsolete Boeing 757, as well as providing airlines with the opportunity to conduct transatlantic flights on a narrow-body aircraft.
UPDATE 06-15-2022, 15:30 (UTC +3): An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the the airport as HAM, instead of XFW.