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Narrowbody long haul: Airbus & Boeing's airline growth market

On 13-Nov-2018 Arkia Israeli Airlines took delivery of the world's first A321neoLR. Arkia replaced the bankrupt Primera Air as launch customer for the aircraft, which carries Airbus' hopes of challenging Boeing's leadership on narrowbody long haul routes.

Narrowbodies on routes of more than 4,000km are a small market, with capacity led by US domestic routes and growing onto new intercontinental city pairs, but such an operation has strong potential thanks to new aircraft technology.

Boeing has the bigger share of long haul narrowbody seats flown in the week of 12-Nov-2018, with 71.5% (much greater than in the more balanced widebody long haul market, where Boeing's seat share is 58.8%). This is built on both the 757 and the 737 and helped by Boeing's MAX range beating the A320neo family into service.

Boeing's 737 MAX 8 has gained a head start in the longest narrowbody sectors, but the A321neoLR is superior in range and capacity. Boeing is planning further additions to the MAX family and is also mulling a new mid market aircraft, while Airbus is considering further extending the neoLR's range.

The battle for supremacy in narrowbody long haul is just one part of the fierce competition between Airbus and Boeing. Both manufacturers will be represented at the CAPA World Aviation Outlook Summit in Berlin on 27-28 November 2018.

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