South American airline orders 17 Airbus aircraft and eyes long haul ambitions

LATAM Airlines' A321XLR and A321neo

Aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, is celebrating another significant order, during the Farnborough Air Show week.

The group, which employs almost 5,000 staff at its wing-making plant at Broughton, near Chester, revealed that Chile’s LATAM Airlines has ordered 17 A321neo aircraft to further expand their route offering, bringing the airline’s total A320neo order book aircraft to 100.

Additionally, the airline has also confirmed to bring in the A321XLR to complement its long haul operations.

Christian Scherer, chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International, said: “We applaud LATAM’s strategic vision and sustainability ambition.

“This order for the A321neo on the heels of its restructuring is a strong sign for the value Airbus brings to making this vision and ambition a reality.

“The A321XLR will enable the opening of new routes and will allow LATAM to increase its international reach in the region.”

The A321neo is the largest member of Airbus’ A320neo family, which incorporates new generation engines and Sharklets, delivering more than 20% fuel and CO2 savings, as well as a 50% noise reduction.

The A321XLR version provides a further range extension to 4,700 nautical miles, giving the aircraft a flight time of up to 11 hours. Last month, the A321XLR took to the skies for the first time, accomplishing its first test flight successfully.

By the end of June 2022, the A320neo family had won more than 8,100 orders from in excess of 130 customers, of which nearly 550 have been for the A321XLR.

Since its entry into service, six years ago, Airbus has delivered more than 2,300 A320neo family aircraft, contributing to a 15-million-ton decrease in CO2 production.

LATAM Airlines Group and its affiliates are the main group of airlines in Latin America, with a presence in five domestic markets in the region: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, in addition to international operations throughout Europe, Oceania, the United States and the Caribbean.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Airbus has sold more than 1,100 aircraft and has a backlog of around 500, with more than 700 in operation throughout the region, representing almost 60% market share of the in-service fleet.

Since 1994, Airbus has secured approximately 70% of net orders in the region.

The Broughton plant makes wings for all Airbus commercial aircraft.