LATAM Orders More Airbus A321neos, Eyes The XLR

Credit: Airbus

LATAM Airlines Group has ordered 17 additional Airbus A321neos, taking its neo orderbook up to 100 aircraft.

The deal was announced July 21 at the Farnborough Airshow. LATAM also said it would incorporate the extended-range A321XLR into its fleet. No specific commitment was made for the XLR, and it was not indicated whether a future order would be on top of the A321neo orders or conversions.

LATAM and its affiliate airlines have bases in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. 

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer said the XLR would enable the opening of new routes and allow LATAM to increase its international reach in the region.

The XLR, with a range of 4,700 nm and flight time of up to 11 hr., has been selling well since its launch at the last Paris Air Show in 2019, with almost 550 sold so far. The first test flight occurred in June.

LATAM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court in 2020 when the pandemic crisis hit. The company has continued to operate and restructure through the proceedings. The New York court approved LATAM’s reorganization plan this summer and the company expects to exit Chapter 11 in the second half of 2022.

The neo order came late in an airshow notably low on new aircraft orders. For Airbus, the biggest deal was announced a day earlier, with UK-based ULCC easyJet ordering 56 more A320neo family aircraft.

Karen Walker

Karen Walker is Air Transport World Editor-in-Chief and Aviation Week Network Group Air Transport Editor-in-Chief. She joined ATW in 2011 and oversees the editorial content and direction of ATW, Routes and Aviation Week Group air transport content.