The Airbus A321LR is fantastic, but it brings new challenges

TAP Air Portugal joins the like JetBlue and Aer Lingus like regulars who fly Airbus A321LR across the Atlantic Ocean. The airline welcomed its first unit in April 2019 and now has a fleet of 10 units with an average age of just two years. Together they provide a capacity of 1,710 passengers.

Managing the shift

The airline is still receiving units, with three more expected between now and next year. The model can be seen across TAP’s network, on both short-haul and long-haul routes, and the operator has praised the prospects the aircraft offers.


TAP’s Christine Urmier-Widener explained the following to Simple Flying during a press conference in Lisbon yesterday.

“The A321LR is a fantastic aircraft and the performance is absolutely on par with what Airbus has been selling, which is not always the case!”

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple flight

Throughout the fleet

There are some supply chain issues. However, TAP understands that all manufacturers face such difficulties and the company remains happy with its A321neos.

However, the airline is not so satisfied with the situation with the other airbus type in his navy, A330neo. Namely, the firm has some problems with certain aspects of the engines.


The Trent 7000 was first launched in November 2015 and first flew on the A330neo in October 2017 before being delivered the following November. It has significantly more power than the A330 700, with twice the bypass ratio and half the emissions. However, TAP management stressed that performance is not up to par.

Ourmières-Widener shares:

“The engine doesn’t work, but that’s no secret about the Trent 7000. Rolls-Royce is doing everything it can to try to help, but the performance is not what it should be.”

TAP Air Portugal Airbus A330-941 CS-TUJ

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple flight

A new phenomenon

However, there are also some problems with the operation of the A321LR, but this is a symptom of keeping a new type of aircraft. Passenger experience and performance value see good results. However, there are some issues when it comes to structuring.

Ourmières-Widener notes that the airline goes to Tel Aviv, Paris, London, New York, Boston and Recife with one-way flights. This modern solution changes the general approach.

The only thing with LR is how do you position it as a legacy airline? It is not broad or narrow. So it completely destroys the traditional split. How do you manage the expectations and development of your team? It is important for us to negotiate with our CLAs because our fleet is pushing us to have a different discussion because it can do both.

The US and Brazil markets make up a significant portion of TAP’s network. As the industry strives to stay on top of costs in the face of tight fuel rate and demand fluctuations, the A321LR is a fantastic tool to help balance long-haul operations. This can be the difference in achieving the goal of operating a profitable route.

What do you think of the Airbus A321LR? Have you had the opportunity to fly on a plane? Let us know what you think about the aircraft and its prospects in the comments section.

  • TAP Air Portugal Airbus A330-941 CS-TUB

    TAP Air Portugal

    IATA/ICAO code:

    Airline type:
    A full-service carrier

    Lisbon Airport

    Year of foundation:

    Зорны альянс

    Генеральны дырэктар:
    Крысцін Урмьер-Відэнэр


  • rsz_airbus_50th_years_anniversary_of_flight__air_air


    Promotion code:

    Date of establishment:

    General Director:
    Guillaume Faure

    Headquarters location:
    Toulouse, France

    Main product lines:
    Airbus A220, Airbus A320, Airbus A330, Airbus A340, Airbus A350, Airbus A380

    Business Type:

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