Airbus made the first flight of the new A321XLR on Wednesday, as the European planemaker tries to tap into lucrative demand for long-range single-aisle jets.
The twin-engine passenger plane took off at 11:05 a.m. local time from the Airbus factory in Hamburg, Germany.
The A321XLR can fly 4,700 nautical miles (8,700 km), allowing airlines to fly routes such as Houston-Santiago, New York-Rome or Tokyo-Sydney without the cost of a large twin-aisle aircraft.
The additional autonomy is possible thanks to the incorporation of a new fuel tank in the rear part of the fuselage.
But Airbus is facing questions from regulators over the risk of fire in the event of a belly landing and has been forced to delay entry into service by at least three months, to early 2024.
Some experts say the delay could be as long as a year for this new aircraft.
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