News: Airbus XLR stalks Boeing NMA at Farnborough - A321XLR
Airbus is preparing for a 2019 launch of the A321XLR
July 17, 2018 - Farnborough by Jon Ostrower for The Air Current
FARNBOROUGH — A pair of paper airplanes. A pair of divergent strategies.
The fight for the nascent middle of the market – a segment increasingly seen as necessary to survive the future saturation of the skies – is today a battle between paper airplanes from Boeing and Airbus.
As Boeing looks to an all-new design, Airbus opts for incremental evolution. The divergence has both echos of the original A350 strategy of 2005 and the 2011 push for a 737 replacement from Boeing. The debate eventually spawned the A350 XWB and 737 Max.
Boeing will decide in the first quarter of 2019 if it will formally begin selling its own small twin-aisle New Middle-Market Airplane (NMA), but Airbus's potential response has always been conceptual.
Airbus is closing on its own 2019 launch as well, according to multiple industry and customer officials familiar with its plans. The launch of the A321XLR would set in motion arrival of an airplane that could be ready as early as 2022.
A decision to go ahead with the upgraded XLR is...