Airbus A321XLR launch customer Iberia schedules first long-haul passenger flight

Iberia Airbus A321XLR

It has been known for the last few weeks that Iberia is set to be the launch customer for the long-awaited Airbus A321XLR. However, some key details are yet to be officially announced – specifically, when Iberia will schedule the world’s longest-range narrowbody aircraft to take its first long-haul flight. 

But it appears that the answer has finally arrived with the first Iberia A321XLR long-haul tickets going on sale.  

According to One Mile at a Time, from November 14, 2024, Iberia’s Airbus A321XLR will fly between Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). 

Then, from January 15, 2025, the A321XLR will fly between MAD and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).  

Iberia has previously stated that, “as with all newly delivered planes, for the first days the A321XLR will operate medium-range routes”. However, many will be keen to see the new Airbus aircraft fulfil its destiny on a long-haul route as soon as possible.  

In 2019, parent-company IAG placed an initial order for 14 of the new extended-range variant of the A321 twinjet, with six intended to go to Aer Lingus and eight to Iberia. 

Until recently it was expected that Aer Lingus would be the launch customer, but a long-running dispute with its pilots over salaries has disrupted the plan.  

At the time of the decision to change the launch customer, IAG said in a statement: “Unfortunately, Aer Lingus was not able to give IAG the cost structure assurances necessary for this investment and so the inaugural A321XLR originally planned for Aer Lingus will be allocated elsewhere in the group.”   

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