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Published on May 20, 2024
Iberia to Lead with World's First Airbus A321XLR Flights to Boston and Washington DCSource: Wikipedia/MarcelX42, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Iberia is poised to make aviation history as it gears up to become the first airline in the world to put the new Airbus A321XLR into service. The Spanish carrier has announced that Boston and Washington, DC, will be the inaugural destinations for this long-range narrow-body aircraft, with the first plane scheduled to be delivered by the close of this summer. According to FlightGlobal, International Airlines Group, which owns Iberia, redirected the initial delivery from Aer Lingus to Iberia after operational disputes surfaced with the Irish airline's pilots.

Competing to redefine long-haul travel on a narrow-body jet, Iberia has promised an unmatched premium experience within the new A321XLR's confines. The airline is installing 14 lie-flat business class seats and 168 seats in economy, per details from Aviation Updates PH. “The A321XLR will have 14 individual window seats with direct access to the aisle” in business class, Iberia said. The design is aimed at offering passengers the luxury of widebody comfort in a significantly more compact single-aisle frame.

The new jets won't skimp on tech and creature comforts either; both cabins will come equipped with 4K seatback screens and options for free messaging thanks to upgraded connectivity. Additionally, enhanced LED lighting and larger overhead bins are planned to improve the flight experience. Iberia, in a press release obtained by Aviation Updates PH, emphasized its commitment to sustainability, stating, "This aircraft will strengthen Iberia's long-haul fleet and will do so in a more sustainable and innovative way."

Following the vanguard jet, Iberia expects seven more A321XLRs to join the fleet, with plans to not only extend its network of destinations but also boost capacity on established routes. According to TravelWires, integrating the A321XLR will allow Iberia to continue trailblazing in providing efficient and more environmentally friendly long-haul travel options. With the ability to seat up to 182 passengers, the A321XLR embodies the bridge between narrow-body efficiency and the extended range desired by global airlines.