Apr 21, 2017: Airbus has delivered the latest generation aircraft A321neo powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines to US based airline Virgin America.
The new A321neo will become the largest aircraft in Virgin America’s fleet, featuring 185 seats - a 24 percent higher capacity at same comfort levels than its current A320s. The aircraft is expected to enter service on May 31, 2017 with its inaugural flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
Fabrice Brégier, COO and president commercial aircraft, Airbus, said, “The new A321neo powered by next generation CFM LEAP-1A engines guarantees new levels of efficiency and longer range to its operators, greater comfort to the flying public and less emissions and noise to the airport communities.”
The A320neo generates only half the noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft. Equipped with fuel-saving Sharklet wingtip devices nitrous oxide emissions are 50 percent below regulatory requirements as outlined by the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). In addition, the aircraft with LEAP-1A engines is proven to deliver at least a 15 percent fuel savings compared to Virgin America’s current generation aircraft, which is equivalent to cutting 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions with each plane every year.
Gael Meheust, president and CEO, CFM International, said, “We have been with Virgin America from the beginning and we are excited to launch this new chapter in that relationship. The LEAP-1A has done extremely well in its first months of commercial service. It is providing unprecedented levels of fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility while maintaining the level of reliability Virgin America has come to expect from CFM.”
The A321neo is the largest member of the A320neo Family. It covers the entire market, from high density to long-range thin routes. There are currently over 1,300 units on order.